The proud Scots of Sheffield will gather to honour one of their own this evening – 18th century ‘Bard’ Robert Burns.
A night of tradition that includes blasting the bagpipes, ‘piping in the haggis’ and ‘a toast to the Lassies’ will be hosted for the 192nd year in the city by Sheffield Caledonian Society.
Secretary Sue Cameron said: “Burns is a worldwide phenomenon who has endured since the 1700s and, on Burns Night – also his birthday – he’s celebrated by the people of his homeland, as well as by ex-pats and appreciative fans all over the world.”
And the night of tradition, held this year at Tapton Masonic Hall and attended by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and the Master Cutler, will place Scottish food firmly in the spotlight, with favourites such as Haggis, Neeps and Tatties on the menu.
Sue said: “The ‘piping of the haggis’ comes first and 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 held at head height. Someone then addresses the haggis before a dagger is plunged ceremonially into it.”
There will also be a keynote speech, known traditionally as The Immortal Memory, where someone will speak about Burns, his life and his work.
Sue said: “We share interesting facts about his life, things that perhaps people aren’t aware of. It’s our way of keeping his memory alive.”
The society was formed in 1822 after the Sheffield section of the West Riding Caledonian Society grew big enough to form its own club.