On Tuesday, January 25 Scotsmen and women across the globe will celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s beloved and most famous poet. Born in 1759, Burns would later be dubbed Scotland’s National Bard after penning many memorable poems like Auld Lang Syne, Scots Wha Hae (Scotland’s unofficial national anthem), and A Red, Red Rose.
A few years after Burns’ death, Burns Night was started by his friends as a tribute to the poet’s remarkable achievements; unsurprisingly, it soon caught on among the adoring public, and today Burns Night is celebrated in Edinburgh annually with suppers and ceilidhs. There is a basic format to the dinner, which always features scrumptious Haggis and, of course, a reading of Burns’ famous ode “To A Haggis.”
While many Scots (including ex-pats living abroad) host their own dinners, plenty of restaurants in the city will be serving themed meals. Try the Whiski Bar and Restaurant’s Burns Night Supper for £21.95, where a traditional band will play long into the night to celebrate all things Scottish. Several venues are offering special comedy shows including: The Stand (featuring Sandy Nelson, Graeme Thomas and Susan Morrison) and The Beehive Inn (featuring Vladimir McTavish, Keara Murphy, Dave McLennan and a special guest singer). If you’d rather tap your toes, a ceilidh band and a piper are leading the festivities at Lauriston Hall. Guests can jive to some international folk dances as well that will complement the Scottish classics.
Starting January 22, the Scottish Storytelling Centre will host a week-long Burnsfest, including a Burns supper with traditional songs and stories and various family activities involving Scots rhymes, tales and games.
To learn more about the great Rabbie, go on Edinburgh’s highly-entertaining Literary Pub Tour.
[Image by Frédéric]