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January 25, 2021
Burns Night 2021: Time to Celebrate!
In Scotland, 25th January is a very special night! Every year the life and poems of Robert Burns (also known as Rabbie Burns) are celebrated with a Burns Supper. Although the traditional Burns Night celebrations may be a little more intimate than previous years, the heart of the festivities remain in the life and poetry of the ‘National Bard’.
Who is Rabbie Burns?
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who is treasured as the national poet of Scotland. His work makes use of the Scots Language as well as English using a Scots Dialect.
“Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie”
Long after his death in 1796, Burns remains a Scottish icon and has had a significant influence on Scottish literature. His poetry celebrated elements of traditional Scottish culture, farm life, class distinctions and religious life. His continued use of the Scots Language and Dialect, and passion for his native land, are just a couple of the reasons why modern Scots celebrate his life and work every year.
Rabbie Burns’ fame isn’t just limited to Scotland. There are statues of the poet in cities across the world! Wisconsin in the USA, Canberra in Australia and Montreal in Canada are just a few key destinations that showcase tributes to the bard.
Rabbie Burns and the Burns Night Supper
At a traditional Burns Supper, Rabbie’s Burns’ work is recited or sung at various points. You can have a look at our blog on a Burns Night Running Order here. It wouldn’t be a truly Scottish celebration without haggis! When the traditional dish is brought into the room (usually accompanied by a bagpiper) the host recites ‘Address to A Haggis’ – one of Burns’ famous poems.
After the meal a speech is given remembering aspects of Burns’ life or poetry and would usually include a reading of his poetry. To end the evening the guests stand together to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ together.
Written by Sarah Baumann