A Burns Supper is a celebration of the life and works of the poet Robert Burns, and these suppers are normally held on or around the poet’s birthday, 25 January.
While extremely common in Scotland, Burns Suppers are held throughout the world by groups of Scots, giving anyone the chance to celebrate Scotland’s favourite “bard”.
The first suppers were held in Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by Robert Burns’ friends on the anniversary of his death, 21 July, and they have been a regular occurrence ever since. The first Burns club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday on 29 January 1802, but in 1803 discovered that the correct date was in fact 25 January 1759, and since then suppers have been held on 25 January, Burns’ birthday.
Burns in Budapest
The Burns Suppers organised by the Robert Burns International Foundation have been held in the ballroom of the Corinthia Hotel, Budapest, since 2004.
They include all of the normal elements of a Burns Supper, including pipers who travel from Scotland specifically for the event.
The supper is a celebration of the work of the Foundation over the previous year. There are no administration costs of organising the Supper as these are covered by sponsors. A significant part of the money raised on the night comes from the raffle and auction.
A typical Burns Supper menu
Fresh Highland Haggis (flown in from Inverness, Scotland) with Champit Neeps and Tatties
Fresh Orkney Isle Cheese with Oatcakes (Cheese from Orkney, Scotland)
Coffee and Tea with tisanes and shortbread (made to a famous Scottish recipe by the Corinthia)
As you will appreciate, organising a Burns Supper for 250 people is a massive task, but our job is made a lot easier by the fantastic support we regularly receive from our sponsors.
DHL transport the haggis, cheese and venison (from Balmoral Estate) from Scotland each year, while the wine for the evening is provided by Varga Pinceszet and Hangácsi és fia. Coca-Cola supply us with soft drinks, Diageo and Glenfarclas make sure we have enough whisky on the tables, Magyar and Sons keep up the Hungarian side by supplying the pálinka, and Heineken provide the beer.
Everyone attending the Burns Supper receives a colour brochure filled with lots of information about the Foundation and its work.
Many thanks to all those who contribute to making the Budapest Burns Suppers such fantastic events.
A Typical Programme
18.30 – Arrive
19.30 – Welcome
19.40 – Selkirk Grace in English and Hungarian
20.00 – Haggis is piped in addressed. Haggis is served
20.20 – The Immortal Memory – a performance by children treated at the SOTE II cancer clinic
20.55 – Scottish Dancing display
21.20 – The Loyal Toasts
21.30 – Chairman’s address
21.35 – Address by medical advisor
21.40 – Raffle draw
22.00 – Scottish Dancing for all
24.00 – Flower of Scotland, Auld Lang Syne
02.00 – Carriages