Good Homes January Cover Good Homes Magazine are busy preparing for a Special Burns Night celebration, and have a few ideas to help us all create the perfect evening. Burns Night is often regarded as a second national day here in Scotland, and is often more celebrated than our official national day, St. Andrew's Day. In 2009, a Scottish television series held a public vote on "The Greatest Scot of all time" in which Robert Burns won, narrowly beating William Wallace. The first ever Burns Supper was held at the Mother Club in Greenock and was held on what was believed to be his Birthday, the 29th January until 1803 where it was discovered in the Ayr parish records that in fact the correct date was the 25th January. Although the format of Burns suppers has changed a little since then. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements, followed with the Selkirk Grace. After grace comes the piping and cutting of the haggis, when Burn's famous Address to a Haggis is read and the haggis is cut open. At the end of the meal, a series of toasts and replies are made, the most common of these being the toast to the immortal memory, in which an overview of Burn's life and work is given. The event then concludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. Good Homes January Coverage You don't have to be Scottish to celebrate the life and works of Scotland's national poet, why not invite friends and family over for a celebration of your own. And don't worry about cooking the Haggis it is actually very simple: Your haggis already cooked and only needs thoroughly re-heating. Wrap the haggis tightly in tin foil and place in a large saucepan of cold water. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes per lb. but do not boil as this might burst the skin. If you would rather use an oven; place in casserole dish with a little water. Wrap in tinfoil to ensure haggis is kept moist and heat at 180 degrees Celsius (gas mark 6), until piping hot for approx 1 hour. When ready to serve, remove from foil and drain off the excess water. Haggis is suitable for microwave if cut through first and skin is removed. Additional time should be allowed for larger haggis. The Scots are a friendly bunch and we love to share our traditions so feel free to call us if you are a bit confused about what to wear for Burns night, what to say if you are in charge of the Toast to the Lassies or anything else. And here's an extract from the famous Selkirk Grace: Fair fa’ your honest sonsie face Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm; Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang’s my arm…….