On Friday the 24th of January, the year nine pupils of Leek High School had an early celebration of Burns Supper day. The head of year nine, Mr. Bartram, arranged a meal to celebrate Burns Day for the year nine pupils. The meal consisted of Haggis, traditionally made with sheep’s stomach and there was also a vegetarian option. The meal ended with biscuits and the pupils had drinks throughout. This meal was beautifully cooked by Mrs. Wheat, Mr Bartram and some very kind year ten students. Mr. Bartram, who is from Scotland, was wearing a traditional kilt.
The Origins of Burns Day
Burns Day is a massive celebration in Scotland which celebrates the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement, and after his death he became a great inspiration for Scotland and other countries around the world. So much so that he was voted the greatest Scot. In our Burns Day celebration, Mr. Bartram read out Robert Burns’ own poem: Address To The Haggis, in both Old Scottish then English translation.
Traditions on Burn’s Supper have developed over centuries among those in Scotland and those that are originally Scottish but have since moved away. These rich, cultural traditions include, of course, the famous habit of kilts being worn and Haggis. A long time ago, certain surnames had different patterns on their kilts to distinguish them from others.
To start, it generally begins with everyone gathering, the host saying a few words of relation to the event, everyone sitting, and a speech called the “Selkirk Grace” is stated by the host. After this, the starter is served, along with the Haggis, everyone toasts to the Haggis, and the main meal is dished out, and the dessert follows. After the courses have been eaten, the first Burns recital is performed, a tribute speech to Burns (“Immortal Memory”), the second Burns recital occurs, another speech called the “a Toast to the Lassies” is said, a “Reply to the Toast to the Lassies” is stated, and a final Burns recital is shown. At the very end, the host gives thanks, everyone stands and sings “Auld Lang Syne”, and then they would cross their arms and join hands at the same times, saying, “And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!”
The haggis was beautifully made by local butchers Meakins and was enjoyed by both students and teachers. By buying locally, Mr. Bartram supported local business and farmers. By using as little transport as possible, Mr. Bartram also didn’t add to world’s pollution which is a topic he teaches his students with passion.
So to round everything off, it was a meal filled with laughter and really delicious food; it also gave people an opportunity to socialise, talk to their friends and enjoy a bit of Scotland. The pupils of year nine would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Mr. Bartram for arranging this lovely meal and talking to us about his culture.
Written by Indhu, Holly and Michelle