The pride of place at a Burns Supper is of course the Haggis, or 'Great Chieftain o' the puddin' race', as Burns calls it in his Address to the Haggis. It is normally brought in on a silver platter to the sound of the bagpipes and is pierced at the relevant part of the poem's recitation. Thereafter, you will probably hear toasts such as the Immortal Memory, and Toast to the Lassies, plus songs and poems to celebrate the Bard. And of course the odd wee dram of whisky, or two.
Here's the famous Selkirk Grace which is normally said before the meal:
"Some hae meat and canna eat,
and some wad eat that want it,
but we hae meat and we can eat,
and sae the Lord be thankit."
One of my favourite Burns songs is Ae Fond Kiss, beautifully sung here by the wonderful Eddi Reader.
My forthcoming novel, The Highland Lass, is very much set in Scotland. Although mainly a contemporary novel about family secrets, alternate short chapters from 1785/6 trace the story of Highland Mary, one of Burns' famous loves, and her romantic-tragic relationship with him, in Mary's own fictionalised voice. It is a meaningful story for me as she is buried in my home town and I've known about her since I was a child so I hope I've done her justice.
The most we'll be celebrating the day tomorrow is by having a haggis, neeps and tatties starter!
Enjoy your weekend, however you are spending it.