Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Burns Night

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

BURNS NIGHT (J8x32) 2C (4C set) Robert McOwen 50yr Boston Br

1- 8 1M+2L cross RH, 1L+2M cross RH, 2s+1s Set&Link
9-16 1L+2M cross RH, 1M+2L cross RH, 2s+1s Set&Link back to original places
17-24 1s+2s ½ turn RH, slip step down for 2 bars and back, ½ turn 2H (pas-de-basque) to face up
25-32 1s+2s dance Allemande. 2 1

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Burns Night - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Burns Night falls on 25th January. The poet Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire in 1759. His name and a number of his poems are known worldwide. Burns Night is an annual celebration in Scotland and is also celebrated in other countries by those of Scottish descent or with an affection for Scotland's cultural heritage and traditions.

Scottish country dancers all over the world enjoy marking Burns Night with Burns Suppers. Burns Suppers usually include the reciting of the The Selkirk Grace Prayer:

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

The haggis is "piped in", that is, a cooked haggis is ceremoniously carried on a platter into the dining hall to bagpipe music (live, where piper availability permits)).

A speaker then gives an "Address To The Haggis" (a poem by Burns) during which this sacrificial meat pudding is cut open with a knife.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my airm.

All guests then toast the haggis (by raising their glasses), and go on to enjoy a meal of haggis with mashed neeps and tatties. The meal might be followed by various addresses, toasts, and performances of Burns poems.

Scottish country dancers' Burns Night celebrations often include dancing- its liveliness in inverse proportion to the amount of supper that has been eaten.

At the end of the party the guests stand in a circle and sing Auld Lang Syne, a famous Burns poem.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?


Image copyright Jonathunder.

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