Picture the donning of tartan, tables full of haggis and whisky and loads of traditional Scottish fanfare and poetry readings.
Born on this day 262 years ago, Robert Burns is Scotland’s national poet and every year, on the day of his birth, the 25th of January 1759 , Scots hold suppers and pay tribute.
Burns was born as the first of seven children to parents William and Agnes and lived on the banks of the River Doon in Alloway, just two miles south of Ayr in Scotland. Throughout his life, Burns wrote hundreds of poems, songs and letters including the well-known works of Auld Lang Syne, Ae Fond Kiss and Tam O’Shanter.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne…”
Burns Night is celebrated with a very traditional meal. This includes Scottish haggis, and in his ‘Address to a Haggis’, Burns conveys his love for the Scottish delicacy, calling it the “Great chieftain o the puddin’-race…”. Haggis is a savoury dish containing minced sheep’s lungs, liver and heart, bound with suet, onion, stock, oatmeal and a selection of spices. This is served with a side of mashed swedes (neeps) and potatoes (tatties). The night will also include poems, speeches and music.