Many of those reading my blog are well familiar with Burns suppers, held on or about the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 - July 21, 1796). For those who are not, it is a great Scottish (and Scotch-drinking!) tradition to attend dinners celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns each January 25, or close to it.
Robert Burns was a poet and lyricist whose many works included the classic "Auld Lang Syne", sung around the world every New Year's eve. In some polls he is considered the most revered Scotsman of all time. "Burns suppers" celebrating his birthday have been held around the world for over 200 years.
The format of Burns suppers tends to be fairly standard. The dinner generally starts with a welcome and announcements, followed by a recitation of the Selkirk Grace. This is followed by the arrival of "the haggis" (a Scottish entree the ingredients of which I will not detail), a recitation of Burns's "Address to a Haggis", and the commencement of the meal. During the course of the meal there will typically be readings of Burns's poetry and liberal consumption of a variety of Scotch whiskies. Auld Lang Syne is often sung at the end of the dinner.
Burns suppers in Atlanta are frequently held in Irish pubs, as private events in clubs, and in private homes. I know there will be a Burns supper at Mac McGee's in Decatur the evening of February 2 (I have attended this one, and it is excellent), and also at Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub in Milton the evening of January 26.