On the 25th of January every year, Scots and wannabe-Scots come together to pay tribute to the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
Across the world, people get together to celebrate the life and poetry of the national poet, the author of many Scots poems – but it’s in his homeland of Scotland where the best events really happen.
From traditional Burns Suppers to more modern takes on the event, we’ve found five unique events to celebrate Burns Night in Scotland in 2018:
The Burns Supper at Burns Cottage, Ayr (25th January)
Where better to celebrate Burns Night than the place where the famous poet was born? The Friends of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum host this special fundraising event, celebrating the Bard’s birthday in his first home in Alloway, Ayr. The exclusive evening, held on Burns Night itself, will see a piper, toasts, recitations of Burns’ poetry, music and speeches, along with a traditional Burns Supper meal.
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Billed as “the world’s biggest Burns Night celebration”, this 11-day event, taking place in various locations across Dumfries, showcases some of the world’s finest music, theatre, comedy, food and drink. Performing this year are musician Badly Drawn Boy, comedian Bill Bailey and cabaret act Le Haggis, while there are plenty of other activities and attractions suitable for all the family.
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Enjoy traditional Scottish recipes and Scottish desserts at this Edinburgh restaurant’s Burns Night menu. The main is, of course, haggis, neeps and tatties (main photo), paying tribute to Burns’ famous poem Address to a Haggis, while there’s a complimentary nip of Scotch whisky to toast the man who brought us Auld Lang Syne. Live music from a Scottish fiddle band ends the night.
There’s a chance to visit a memorial built in the late poet’s memory too, with the above Robert Burns monument found on Regent Road.
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Moving from whisky to rum, there’s a Burns Night with a difference at The Rum Shack in Glasgow. This night of live music, poetry and food offers up a three-course meal with a Caribbean twist on the traditional Burns Supper, while you can also opt for a dram of whisky or rum. Entertainment comes from Kiaora Punjanna (a Scottish calypso dub reggae DJ), Hectorrr, Loki and Jim Monaghan.
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Nae Ordinary Burns Supper (26th January, Inverness, and 2nd February, Aberdeen)
There are two chances to say your Selkirk Grace at this charity event which takes place in both Inverness and Aberdeen. On top of a three-course dinner, there will be entertainment from award-winning actors, singers and musicians, with Ceilidh dancing along to The Jacobites ending proceedings. There will also be charity auctions for a number of organisations, including the University of Aberdeen Development Trust, The Archie Foundation and Birchwood Highland.
While in Aberdeen you could also visit the Robert Burns statue (pictured above), located on Union Terrace above the garden in the city centre.
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Burns Night isn’t the only unique Scottish custom or tradition – it’s one of many! Find out more about the country’s unique celebrations and traits, including Hogmanay, Haggis Hurling and more.