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How To Celebrate Burns Night (January 25) During Lockdown

Read about Burns Night, a night to celebrate poet Robert Burns and his many contributions to Scottish culture.

Across the United Kingdom each year on January 25th, people celebrate “Burns Night,” which honors the life of Scotland’s favorite son and poet, Robert Burns, and his contributions to Scottish culture. He was born on January 25, 1759, which is why we celebrate on this date. Here in the U.S., those of Scottish descent can celebrate at home this year (skip the pub crawls)!

Who Was Robert Burns?

Robert Burns
Scottish poet, Robert Burns

You may not know the name, but you know his work: Robert Burns is best known for his poem, Auld Lang Syne, which many around the world sing on New year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

How Do People Celebrate Burns Night?

The evening celebration of Burns Night includes playing bagpipes before the Burns Supper and the reading of his works, including the poem, Address To A Haggis, Burns’ ode to Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, when the feast is presented. If you don’t feel like reciting it yourself, you can play this version before you dig in:

Many people are quite squeamish when it comes to haggis, due to its many unusual ingredients. In fact, when vacationers in the U.K. were polled, many admitted they wouldn’t consider touching the stuff.

As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with the Scots, as this is their national dish, after all. We would imagine a few people here in the U.S. might have the same reaction to someone’s adversity to the All American hot dog! Maybe try Scotch eggs, instead? Here’s our recipe:

But if you’re feeling daring, we have a recipe for Haggis here.

Do you celebrate Burns Night? Ever tried Haggis? Tell us in the comments below. And Happy Burns Night!

Susan Higgins is the Farmers' Almanac's Web Content Editor & Social Media Manager. She is a freelance writer/editor, copywriter, blogger, and writer of short fiction. Her passions are advertising, cooking, the ocean, libraries, pets & animal welfare, Netflix binges, and finding the perfect book at her local library.

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Jocelyn Knepler

We’re preparing for our Burns Night dinner right now – a fine piece of roast beef, haggis, tatties and neeps, buttered leeks, Cranachan Trifle for dessert, and a few “wee drams” along the way!

Alice Duncan

I had haggis in a pub in Edinburgh. I liked it! I like Scotch eggs better, though.

Victoria Tunis

Tried Haggis on a wonderful trip to Scotland…but it was not for me.

Dan Whaley

My wife and I traveled to Scotland this past summer. Ate haggis every day, usuallyat breakfast. Wonderful stuff!

Chris

I would love to try Haggis. I love bagpipes. I believe I was Scottish in my last life. I am mad about fog. Auld Lang Syne is one of my favorite songs. I don’t know much Robert Burns Poetry, but what I know I like. I am a L/lover…

Jeanie

Never tried it, but I’d like to. I like many kinds of uncommon foods like chicken livers, tripe, sweetbreads, tongue, so I have no problem with its ingredients!

Carol Moffett

I make my own American version of Haggis that we use for our Burns Night as well as our AGM for the Moffat Society. It is a mixture of pork, beef, eggs, oats, onions, celery, cinnamon, garlic, salt and pepper. People seems to like it when it has been served.

Tina

Would you mind sharing your recipe with those of us who want the recipe?

Dr B

Of course I’d try it! I love chicken livers and most people balk at that. Try everything once–if you don’t like it, you ever have to eat it again. But you could find some new dishes you adore.

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