Welcome to our Burns Night guide
Monday 25th January 2021
Who is speaking?
Helen Giles, our Executive Personal Assistant is introducing Burns Night.
Growing up in a Scottish family we have always enjoyed a traditional Burn’s Night every January 25th. Haggis is a delicious warming meal on a cold winter night, as well as a taste of whisky that goes with it. I would highly recommend it.
I have been part of a Scottish Highland Dancing School since the age of 6 years old, so this has always been a busy time of year for me with dancing displays at all kinds of Burn’s Night events.
The Lockdown has seen events getting creative and going virtual instead. Here is a snap of me at our latest zoom display. It was a lot of fun to take part in, although, I do hope we can dance together again soon back at dancing school.
Wishing you all a very happy Burn’s Night and keep safe and well.
The celebration of life
Photo by Adam Wilson
As we are entering an uncertain start of the year, I can’t help myself to think that we need to find in everyday a celebration, something to smile and to dance for, something different that would gather us even if we are separated by screens. The festive season is gone and the Christmas carols seems so far away, we know that you are patiently waiting for spring and its beautiful colors that will lift your mood.
But why not start celebrating today? We hope that you have your kilt on, your Scottish spirit ready and even if you have never heard of it before, tonight it is Burns Night and it is definitely worth the celebration. Put on your dancing shoes, switch on your camera to share this great moment with your friends and family and get ready to eat Scottish delicacies.
Did you know?
Burns night is usually celebrated with a Burns supper. This supper represents a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), the author of many Scottish poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, known as Burns Night (Scottish: Burns Nicht; also called Robert Burns Day or Rabbie Burns Day). The first supper was held at Burns cottage by Burns’s friends, on 21 July 1801,which was the fifth anniversary of his death; it has been a regular occurrence ever since.
Which food should I eat for Burns night?
Burns supper is all about traditions, normally you would eat a smoked fish soup to start, haggis, neeps and tatties along with Whisky; which may not sound like your cup of tea at first but which is actually delicious.
It is a typical Scottish meal celebrated by the poet himself Robert Burns in is poem Address to a Haggis.
Haggis is in fact a type of pudding composed of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep (or other animal), minced and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, cayenne pepper, and other spices. The mixture is packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled. Nowadays, a vegetarian option exists which is usually appreciated by everyone and naturally easier to cook.
Find the perfect recipe for your haggis by Jamie Oliver here.
Neeps and tatties are also classic Scottish dishes. ‘Neeps’ means swede or turnip and the ‘tatties’ refer to potatoes. Traditionally they are served mashed separately alongside haggis, although some recipes suggest mashing them together.
Find a recipe to cook your neeps and tatties from Jamie Oliver here.
To end on a sweet note, the traditional dessert would be a Clootie dumpling which is a classic steamed Scottish pudding serve with clotted cream and Whisky.
Find your dessert recipe here.
What can I do from home for Burns Night?
Photo by Eric Welch
Food and drinks are always a good answer, however you might also want to entertain your family or friends with some fun activities.
#SCOTLANDISNOW is organising online events for you to enjoy the night as much as possible.
The big Burns night quiz!
Is your Scottish knowledge on point? Make sure to take the online quiz with your friends and see who deserve the win!
Start the quiz here.
A little poetry never hurts nobody!
As we are celebrating the Ploughman poet, you might want to have a look at his great verses and why he is so important to Scottish literature. From A man is a man for a that to Auld Lang Syne read some of his most famous poems here.
The world biggest burns!
As we have discovered this year, celebrations can also be online and interactive, so switch off your TV for once and party from your living room while joining the Burns Night online events .
Click here to find out all the events that are happening.
We hope you enjoyed a bit of Scottish culture to start the week and as they would say: “Oidhche Bhlas Burns” and “Good Health!”.