Celebrate Burns Night (January 25)

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 US, those of Scottish descent celebrate in many ways, including signing some Burns’s tunes, enjoying Scotch Eggs, and more.

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.

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.

Haggis

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?

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

Tell Us

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

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Pat Todd

I’d love to try haggis. But, no, I’m not slaying the haggis with my sharpened dirk.
I was leaning towards steak and kidney pie. But I only like lamb kidneys which I couldn’t find. So I have lamb in the oven.
Will make neeps and tatties served separately. Some family members prefer clapshot. But my mother was a purest.
Attempting my first whiskey cream sauce tonight.
The raspberries are macerating.
The vanilla pudding is ready. And for my tipsy laird I’m using Walker’s shortbread.
Next year, The Tam O’Shanter Restaurant!
I’ve been watching Sam Heughan recite Address To The Haggis
And various people recite A Man’s A Man For All That on YouTube…
I need a nap!

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.

Susan Higgins

Good point, Dr B, I agree! Especially if you travel to new lands. The experience is always rewarding.

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