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Lesson Transcript

Famously celebrated in Scotland, A Burns Supper recognises the life of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns.The day usually takes place on 25 January on his birthday.Friends will gather together to eat haggis, recite poetry, and give toasts and speeches.The dinner can be accompanied by bagpipes, and guests will usually eat mashed potatoes and turnips, known locally as "tatties and neeps," alongside the haggis.A special Scottish soup, such as potato soup or broth, will be eaten as a starter.When the main course arrives, guests will stand up to receive it whilst bagpipes are playing.This is known as the "piping" of the haggis.A famous poem by Burns, Address to a Haggis, is often recited, and then a Scotch whisky toast will be given in honor of it.The meal will then be started, and often followed by cheese and oatmeal biscuits, a Scottish dessert like "tipsy laird" (whisky trifle) and finished off with coffee or the "water of life" (whisky).More speeches will then follow, including a short toast honoring the life of Burns, as well as a "Toast to the Lassies," and a humorously titled "Reply to the Laddies." In these speeches, a male guest will, first of all, recite his amusing, inoffensive view of women, and then a female guest will get the chance to reply with her views on the opposite sex. It is all in the name of fun, and the night is often finished off singing songs by Robert Burns, including the popular Auld Lang Syne, in which people remember old friends and times past.