Robert (Rabbie) Burns is celebrated across the world as Scotland’s premier poet and lyricist. Though he lived to just 37, his contribution to poetry and folk song spread around the globe. To this day, for example, New Year’s Eve would not be complete in many English-speaking countries without a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne.
On 25 January each year (the day of Burns’ birth, in 1759), Burns suppers are held around the world in honour of the great poet. In Scotland, Burns Night is more widely celebrated than St Andrew’s Day, which is the country’s official national day. A traditional feast is held, featuring haggis and readings of some of Burns’ most celebrated poems.
This year, why not check out your local area to find out how to enjoy Burns Night in style? For Collegiate residents in Scotland, there are a whole host of events to choose from. In Edinburgh, the atmospheric castle is home to Burns for Beginners on the nights of 23 and 24 January, providing a light-hearted introduction to the bard and his work, with audience participation highly encouraged.
In Glasgow, the Winter Festival has planned a strikingly contemporary Burns supper to celebrate the poet’s impact around the world. Celtic Connections and BEMIS are joining forces to deliver singers and performers from Palestine, Syria and Pakistan, as well as local musicians and a feast that blends international cuisine with a unique Scottish twist.
In Dundee, the University of Dundee has organised a Burns supper for the night of 30 January, while the Dundee Rep Theatre will celebrate on 24 January, providing a traditional Burns supper with a theatrical twist.
Outside of Scotland, Burns Night is still celebrated with gusto. In London, haggis, neeps and tatties will be served up across the capital as restaurants and bars put on special menus for an evening of truly Scottish fun.
Of course, if you don’t fancy braving the cold weather then you could always host your own Burns supper. As a minimum you’ll need some haggis, some pipers (look online if you don’t happen to have a friend with their own bagpipes!), a copy of various Burns poems (the Selkirk Grace, To a Haggis and Auld Lang Syne are the essentials) and a knowledge of the traditional Burns supper running order – the BBC has detailed information available for those of you who want to celebrate Scotland’s most famous poet the right way.
Burns Night is a great way to enjoy the superior cooking facilities in your fabulous Collegiate property, so why not get together with your fellow residents and make 2016 a Burns Night to remember?
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