25 January marks Burns Night. Around the world, we commemorate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Burns Suppers, ceilidh dancing, live music and poetry recitals are just some of the ways you can celebrate.
Did you know?
Robert Burns’ influence has been wide-reaching. Here are some of our favourite facts about his legacy:
- When Bob Dylan was asked for the source of his greatest creative inspiration he selected Burns’ 1794 song ‘Red Red Rose’.
- Other famous fans include Michael Jackson, who apparently worked on an album setting some of Burns’ poems to music.
- Burns has traveled through outer space! A miniature book of his poetry was carried into orbit by astronaut Nick Patrick on a two week space mission in 2010.
- The title ‘Of Mice and Men’, by John Steinbeck, was inspired by a line in Burns’ poem ‘To a Mouse’:’The est laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley’.
Join in the celebrations!
Burns Suppers are commonly held throughout Scotland and further afield. Why not host your own celebration? The key ingredients are:
- Haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips/swedes and potatoes)
- Scotch whisky (or Irn Bru as a non-alcoholic option!)
- Traditional Scottish music
- Poetry- Address to a Haggis and Selkirk Grace are the among most popular.
- Auld Lang Syne – Burns most widely known poem set to music.
Make the most of Burns Night with this free iPhone and Android app from Scotland.org. You can access 550 poems and love songs complete with a useful glossary of terms to help interpret the Scots words.
For more great tips about Burns Night celebrations- check out the Ultimate Guide to Burns Night.