Burns Night

Burns Night Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date25 January 2024
2025 Date25 January 2025

Robert Burns Night

Robert Burns Night in
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Burns Night History

Burns Night honours one of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, who is widely regarded as one of the most important literary figures in the country's history. The event, observed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom, centres around a traditional meal known as the 'Burns Supper,' which typically features a haggis dish as well as other Scottish culinary delights. Additionally, the evening sees a series of speeches and toasts, along with recitations of Burns' most beloved works, making the observance a heartfelt tribute to the esteemed poet.

The origins of Burns Night date back to the late 18th century, following the death of Robert Burns in 1796. Initially, a small group of his friends gathered to commemorate his life and works, and this event was then repeated on an annual basis. The practice eventually gained widespread popularity and has evolved into a significant occasion celebrated by Scottish communities across the United Kingdom. Burns Night is extolled for its capacity to foster a deep sense of pride in Scottish cultural heritage, making it a particularly poignant event for the country's people.

In the United Kingdom, Burns Night is observed in various ways, from informal gatherings among friends and family, to larger-scale dinners hosted by organisations and societies. The crux of the celebration remains the Burns Supper, often accompanied by performances of traditional Scottish music, dances, and poetry readings. In addition, a toast is proposed to the 'Immortal Memory' of Robert Burns, paying homage to his enduring legacy as a revered poet. The observance of Burns Night typically occurs on the 25th of January, which marks the birthday of the renowned poet.

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Burns Night Facts

  • While the first celebration of Burns Night Occurred in July 1801, it is estimated that today more than 9.5 million people around the world celebrate Buns Supper each year.
  • The largest collection of Robert Burn’s work is said to be in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library. His work there has been translated into almost 30 different languages.
  • According to Scotland.org, with the exception of Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, there are more statues dedicated to Robert Burns than any other non-religious figure.
  • Robert Burns became the first person to appear on a commemorative bottle of Coca Cola. His likeness was debuted in 2009.
  • Due to his family's financial struggles, Burns had limited formal education. However, he was a voracious reader and taught himself many subjects, including literature, politics, and philosophy.

Burns Night Top Things to Do

  • Explore the history of Burns Night.
  • Read The Burns Encyclopedia by Maurice Lindsay.
  • Read some of Robert Burn's poetry.
  • Watch the 2023 Burns Night celebration if you missed it.
  • Learn some traditional Scottish dances and enjoy a ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) at home. Dance routines like the Scottish reel or the Highland fling can be learned through online tutorials or dance videos.

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