The Annual Burns Supper is the premier event held by the SJCS. The SJCS's 15th Annual Burns Supper is tentively scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at:
O'Connor's American Bar & Grille
1383 Monmouth Rd, Eastampton, NJ 08060.
Buy tickets on the events page.
2018 Burns Pictures
2014 Burns Supper Video
The South Jersey Celtic Sociiety, Inc. is located in Ma tax exempt non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the
U.S. Internal Revenue Code with a section 509(a)(2) Public Charitable Status and is a registered charitable organization in the State of New Jersey
Corporate Sponors of the South Jersey Celtic Society:
☘ Spellbound Brewing ☘
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (citations ommitted)
A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are held all over the world and normally on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day or Rabbie Burns Day) or Burns Night (Scots: Burns Nicht), although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.
The first suppers were held in memoriam at Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by Robert Burns' friends on 21 July, the anniversary of his death, and have been a regular occurrence ever since. The first Burns club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday, 29 January 1802, but in 1803 they discovered in Ayr parish records that his date of birth was 25 January 1759. Since then, suppers have been held on 25 January.
Start of the evening (piping in the guests)
Host's welcoming speech
All of the guests are seated and grace is said, usually using the Selkirk Grace, a well-known thanksgiving said before meals, using the Scots language. Although attributed to Burns, the Selkirk Grace was already known in the 17th century, as the "Galloway Grace" or the "Covenanters' Grace". It came to be called the Selkirk Grace because Burns was said to have delivered it at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk.
The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat an
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
The supper starts with the soup course. Normally a Scottish soup such as Scotch Broth, Potato Soup or Cock-a-Leekie is served.
"Piping" of the haggis
Everyone stands as haggis is brought in, usually by the cook, and generally while a piper plays bagpipes and leads the way. The host, or a guest, then recites the Address to a Haggis
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An' cut you up wi' ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that o're his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whistle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thristle.
Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!
At the line His knife see rustic Labour dicht the speaker normally draws and sharpens a knife, and at the line An' cut you up wi' ready slicht, plunges it into the haggis and cuts it open from end to end.
Haggis is traditionally usually served wi tatties an neeps (with potatoes and turnips). At the end of the poem, a Scotch whisky toast will be proposed to the haggis, then the company will sit down to the meal.
After the dinner, one of the guests gives a short speech, remembering some aspect of Burns' life or poetry. This may be light-hearted or intensely serious. A good speaker always prepares a speech with his audience in mind, since above all the Burns' supper should be entertaining.
Everyone drinks a toast to Robert Burns.
Toast to the Lassies
This was originally a short speech given by a male guest in thanks to the women who had prepared the meal. However, nowadays it is much more wide-ranging and generally covers the male speaker's view on women. It is normally amusing but not offensive, particularly bearing in mind that it will be followed by a reply from the "lassies" concerned. The men drink a toast to the ladies.
Reply to the Laddies
This is occasionally (and humorously) called the "Toast to the Laddies" and, like the previous toast, it is generally amusing. A female guest will give her views on men and lead the women to drink a toast to the lads.
After the speeches there may be music, singing, dancing and poetry.
Finally the host or a guests will give the vote of thanks, after which everyone is asked to stand, join hands, and sing Auld Lang Syne bringing the evening to an end.