Xpat Guide: 2018 Burns Celebrations

  • 25 Jan 2018 9:00 AM
Xpat Guide: 2018 Burns Celebrations
Tonight many expats around the world will sing a Scottish song, probably after a wee dram of whiskey, and perhaps some haggis, to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns. In Budapest there are a whole host of Burns Night events taking place this year, not all on January 25th, here’s your guide to what’s on here in honour of the man Hungarians call the Scottish Petőfi.

Firstly it’s worth mentioning there are many parallels between the great bards Petőfi Sándor and Rabbie Burns, follow this link to know more fun facts about the interesting links between Hungarians and Scots.

Now here's our quick guide to celebrating Burns in Budapest this year:

25 January: 'Alchemists Burns Night' @ Brody Studios. A popular twist on the traditional Burns Night celebration, as Dez and co creatively combine his poetry with a cocktail tasting, traditional food & music.

27 January: Budapest Burns Night Supper @ Corinthia Hotel Budapest. Organized by the Robert Burns International Foundation - a local charity organization that has raised over EURO 1 million to help Hungarian children in need.

28 January: The Corinthia hosts a ‘Scottish Brunch’  - complete with live bagpipe music, haggis and a range of whiskies to taste.

30 January: The Wee Burns @ St Columba’s Scottish Church in Budapest. Tickets are modestly priced and include a 3-course dinner including drinks, traditional music and dance. For more info contact Revd. Aaron Stevens

Lastly, here’s quick mention of the private Burns celebration held by Her Majesty’s Ambassador last night, XpatLoop was invited and a photo gallery will soon be published for you to see what went on – so please stay tuned!

What happens at a Burns night celebration?

The evening traditionally begins with The Selkirk Grace- a well-known thanksgiving said before meals, using the Scots language.
In more formal settings or where a piper or a set of bagpipes is at hand, the haggis is then brought in on a big plate to a soundtrack of pipes.

A tribute is then paid to the famous Scottish dish with the ‘Address to the Haggis’ and ‘Toast to the Haggis’ before guests tuck into their food.

If you’re going all out with your Burns Night celebrations the speeches don’t end there.

The Immortal Memory (a short speech, remembering some aspect of Burns’ life or poetry) should be given next followed by a Toast to the Lassies (a light-hearted view on women given by a male guest) and then the Reply to the Laddies (the ladies’ chance to respond!) and the singing of Burns songs or reading of his poems.

Finally the host will call on one of the guests to give the vote of thanks, after which everyone is asked to stand, join hands, and sing Auld Lang Syne bringing the evening to an end.

As William Shakespeare is England's national bard so Robert Burns is Scotland's.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin' auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

PS some may say it doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense, but if you change "auld lang syne" to "long ago" or even something less literal along the lines of "good old times", then it begins to make a bit more sense. :)

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