Burns Night 2023: When is it and what is haggis?

Person holding a book by Robert Burns

A time to celebrate a great Scot! (Image: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

It’s almost burning night – a celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns.

Widely celebrated across Scotland, the tradition began shortly after Burns’ death when his friends made a pact to celebrate his life each year on 21 July – the date of his death – but over the years it has become a tradition that Burns Night at another location to celebrate date.

Burns Night is celebrated with traditional Scottish dress and music – including Auld Lang Syne, which is more synonymous with New Year’s Eve but actually borrows its lyrics from a poem by Burns.

There is also the Burns Supper which is the highlight of the day. Many will be celebrating with friends and family (this year only, strictly kept within budgets and support bubbles) who will feast on a variety of dishes including, yes, haggis.

So when is Burns Night and what’s in the traditional Scottish dish?

Date 2023: When is Burns Night?

Originally celebrated on the anniversary of his death, Burns Night is now instead celebrated on the poet and writer’s birthday – January 25, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

The first Burns Supper was held in 1801 and since then new rituals have emerged as families and friends gather.

However, the main purpose of the day is still to celebrate Burns, who is often considered one of the greatest Scots in history.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns is considered one of the greatest Scots in history (Image: Getty Images)

This could include readings of his work and a traditional Burns supper which traditionally would include haggis.

What is haggis?

Haggis is usually a big part of a Burns Night celebration, as the man himself was a fan of the national dish, referring to it as “the great chief of the Puddin race” in his ode to the dish Address to a Haggis.

But what exactly is haggis?


The traditional haggis is served with neeps and tatties (Image: Getty Images)

Haggis is a type of savory pudding whose main ingredients are a sheep’s liver, heart, and lungs (usually, but it could be another animal), chopped and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal, and seasoned with onions. cayenne pepper and other spices.

The mixture is stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled.

Haggis is typically served with the classic side dish of mashed neeps and tatties (beets and potatoes).

Is there a vegetarian or vegan haggis alternative?

For vegetarians and vegans, you can still partake in the haggis.

There are several alternatives that are suitable for either vegetarians or vegans, switching ingredients to a mix of fresh vegetables, legumes, oatmeal, seeds and spices.

BBC Good Food has a vegetarian alternative that you can prepare yourself or there are vegetarian and vegan alternatives that you can buy from the supermarket including Macsween Haggis.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/16/burns-night-2023-when-is-it-and-what-is-haggis-18100873/ Burns Night 2023: When is it and what is haggis?

Justin Scacco

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