25th January – exploring the history of the Burns Supper
Greenock Burns Club, alternatively known as ‘The Mother Club’ was the first ever formal Burns society, instituted in 1801, to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns: just five short years after the death of the Bard.
The founder members of the Mother Club held the first commemorative supper on 29th January 1802 in the mistaken belief that this was Rabbie’s birthday. These initial celebrants were friends of the poet, people who knew the man as flesh and blood and their annual get together must have been as much a wake as it was a commitment to promote and sustain the work of the poet.
Unsurprisingly, the formula of whisky, haggis, verse and song caught the popular imagination and these annual suppers spread rapidly through the lowland towns of Scotland.
By 1818 Sir Walter Scott had joined the fray, inviting James Hogg to deliver the Immortal Memory, the main speech traditionally given to frame the reasons why Burns’ memory is, and should be immortal.
Today Burns celebrations are held on, or around the 25th of January, all over the world.
Click here to find out more about Burns events in your area (Scotland only).
If you’re organizing your own Burns Supper, or just want to have a bit of a hoolie round the kitchen table the Burns Country website has a good guide as to the running order of the evening.
And, of course if you need a kilt for the evening A Hume are here to sort you out.