Burns Night – 25th January

by / Thursday, 23 January 2014

Burns’ night is Scotland’s second national day. The first is St. Andrew’s Day on the 30th of November. Many more people celebrate Burns’ night than St. Andrew’s Day.

Burn’s night is sometimes called Robert Burns’ Day or Rabbie Burns’ Day. It is a celebration of the birthday of Robert Burns on the 25th of January every year. Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is known as the national poet of Scotland and his poetry is famous all over the world. A lot of his poems were written in the Scots language. His most famous work may be Auld Lang Syne which is often sung on New Year’s Eve in many countries.

Some other of his famous poems are, A Red, Red Rose, A Man’s a Man for A’ That, To a Louse, To a Mouse, The Battle of Sherramuir, Tam o’ Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss.

The traditional way to celebrate Burns’ night is by having a special meal or supper. These suppers have taken place in Scotland for over 300 years and these days they are held many other countries. Some of these places are Canada, Australia, The U.S.A and New Zealand. The supper normally begins with a bagpiper piping in the guests who are then welcomed by their host and seated. They then say the Selkirk Grace a famous thanksgiving prayer in the Scots language.

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;                                                                Scots

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

And sae let the Lord be thankit.


Some have food and cannot eat,

And some would eat that lack it,                                                              English

But we have food and we can eat,

So let God be thanked.


Normally soup is eaten for the first course. This can be Scotch Broth, Potato or Cock-a-Leekie soup. Haggis is the main dish of the evening. The bagpiper plays again the cook walks behind the piper holding the haggis on a large plate. The haggis is then placed on the host’s table. After that, the host or perhaps someone who is particularly good at reciting poetry recites one of Robert Burns’ poems, Address to a Haggis. The haggis is then cut and served with mashed potatoes (tatties) and mashed turnips (neeps). Some people enjoy drinking Scotland’s national drink whisky with their meal.