Every month, Wyndham Garden Grantham will post a celebrated event or occasion that occurs in the month, giving a brief history and background and linking sites where readers can visit to gain further information.
The Legend of the Burns Supper
Traditionally held on or around the birthday, 25th January, of the famous and much admired Scottish Poet, Robert Burns, Burns Night has become an annual tradition for celebration and party in his honour, not just in Scotland but around the globe.
‘In 1801, on the fifth anniversary of the death of Robert Burns, nine men who knew him met for dinner in Burns Cottage in Alloway to celebrate his life and works. The Master of Ceremonies was a local minister a liberal theologian and an equally liberal host. Hamilton Paul and his guests shared Masonic brotherhood with Rabbie and Paul devised an evening which looked a bit like a lodge ceremonial, centred on a fine fat haggis; with recitation and singing of Burns’s works and a toast (in verse) to the memory of their friend and hero.
It was such a jolly evening, all agreed to meet again the following January for a Birthday Dinner for the bard, little knowing that they had invented a global phenomenon that we know as the BURNS SUPPER which still broadly follows the Reverend’s original plan.
Burns’s popularity grew rapidly after his untimely death and the idea of meeting annually to share his poems and songs in the bonds of friendship caught the public imagination. Some Ayrshire merchants in Greenock followed with the first Burns Club Supper in January 1802 and the West coast towns with strong links to Rabbie reached out and joined in the new festival: Paisley, Irvine, Kilmarnock and Dumfries.
Typically, a dozen or more men sat down to dine – as often working men as the middle classes – sometimes in a bar Rab had frequented. But the real link was his poetry with its message of love, freedom and the essential value of humanity. Many early suppers were organised by Burns Clubs who exist today, but a big boost in participation came with the big literary Burns Suppers, the original organised by Sir Walter Scott in Edinburgh in 1815 with Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd giving the Immortal Memory.’
At Wyndham Garden Grantham, we hold a traditional Burns’ Night Supper on the Saturday in January nearest to 25th.
Each year we serve a traditional fayre and have a piper and Caely band to fully mimic the original formalities and merriment. Below is a link to a range of traditional dishes and recipes served to celebrate the event