A wee dram will be raised by the proud Scots of Sheffield tonight as they celebrate the life of poet Robert Burns.
Each year, members of the Sheffield Caledonian Society don their kilts to enjoy a special supper to mark the birthday of Burns.
The night of tradition features Scottish food, drink and entertainment, including ‘blasting the bagpipes’, ‘piping in the haggis’ and ‘a toast to the Lassies’.
Sue Cameron, Sheffield Caledonian Society secretary, said: “The society has a full calendar of events all year round, but Burns Night is certainly a highlight and an event that members really look forward to.
“The proceedings are similar each year and include poetry, singing and dancing.
“Burns is celebrated by the people of his homeland, as well as by ex-pats and appreciative fans all over the world.”
This year the society’s celebrations, marking Burns’s 256th birthday, will be held at Tapton Masonic Hall with both the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Peter Rippon, and the Master Cutler, David Grey, due to be in attendance.
The 110 guests will enjoy a Scottish feast of favourites such as ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ – haggis, turnips and potatoes – during a four-course meal.
Sue says highlights of the evening include the piping of the haggis and keynote speech.
She said: “The piping of the haggis is perhaps the most famous part of the Burns’ Supper event.
“This is where a procession is led from the kitchen by the toast master, followed by the piper, the chef holding the haggis aloft and finally the wine steward with whisky bottles. Someone then addresses the haggis.
“This year the keynote speech, known as The Immortal Memory, will be taken by Professor John Tidy, who will talk about Burns’ life and his work.
“There will also be a ‘toast to the lassies’, which was originally to toast the people who had prepared the supper, but is now a bit of light-hearted banter.”
In addition to numerous toasts and speeches, guests will listen to greetings from other societies around the country and will have the opportunity to join in with lots of dancing.
Sue said: “We will wear the kilt and enjoy a ceilidh at the end of the evening.”