Burns Night in London: History

Burns Night: History. Photo Credit:  Zevotron. C.C.License
Who was Robert Burns…

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Bars and Pubs. Photo Credit: FlyGuy92586. C.C.License
Bars and Pubs
The best places to drink Scotch…

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Burns Night: Scottish Food. Photo Credit: Unhindered by Talent. C.C.License
Celebrate with some traditional Scottish food…
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Burns Night: Fancy Dress Costumes for Men and Women
Fancy Dress
Costumes for men and women…

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Robert Burns (1759-96) is the Scottish national poet and his spirit is kept alive by drinking spirits, Scotch of course, and eating haggis, alongside Scotch, every 25 January, the anniversary of his birth. Them’s the bones of Burns Night.

Depending on the event, you’re also likely to get witty speeches, Scotch, toasts, reading of the great man’s poetry and Scotch. There are some frequently asked questions about Burns Night (also called Burns Supper), which will be answered here:

What is haggis? It is a kind of sausage thing made out of animal innards, flavoured with onions and stock. It is in the same taste ballpark as black and white pudding and is usually served with neeps (swede) and tatties (potatoes).

Was Burns any good? He was, definitely. Even if you’re not Scottish, his poems have an up and at ’em appeal not often present in poetry from the olden days. One of his most famous is called A Man’s a Man for a’That, which is all about sticking in to the man. Here’s a bit of it:

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Where’s the Scotch? Good question, but why not save your whiskey head for Burns Night itself when indulgence, over indulgence even, is approved and encouaged. You might need it as you will be asked to sing Auld Lang Syne, possibly Burns’ most famous verse, at the end of the evening.

– David Clee