Burns Night is one of the most critical dates in the Scottish calendar. It is a time to celebrate the life and work of the revered Scottish poet Robert Burns. This tends to be held either on or close to the date of his birth, 25 January. There are several traditions and customs that are followed by people on Burns Night. Knowing what they are will ensure that this evening is enjoyed to its fullest.
It is widespread for people to wear the traditional highland dress during this night. The outfit should include either a kilt or tartan trousers called trews. People with clan ties can match their tartan to that of their clan. A sporran is worn on the kilt. A Prince Charlie jacket, dress shirt and bow tie are also usually worn.
Perhaps the best thing about Burns Night is the supper. The main dish is almost always haggis, neeps and tatties. However, chefs have a significant amount of freedom when it comes to starters and dessert. They can also serve the main course in a variety of different ways. Vegetarian versions of haggis are easy to find in shops during the lead up to Burns Night.
To make the party even more unique, it is a good idea to decorate the space in ways that celebrate Scottish culture. The host could utilise pendant lighting to illuminate their room. This can be used to draw attention to specific decorations such as clan badges, tartan clothes and coats of arms. Using the right lighting can make a massive difference.
During the supper, guests recite famous works by Robert Burns including both songs and poems. The most popular ones are “To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough”, “Address to a Haggis”, “Auld Lang Syne”, “Tam o’ Shanter” and “A Red, Red Rose”. Hosts usually provide transcripts for their guests.
Not all Burns Night activities are ancient. It has become popular in recent years to watch movies either set in or about Scotland. Biopics and documentaries about Robert Burns are an obvious choice. Braveheart is another excellent option to choose. More obscure ones include Local Hero, Gregory’s Girl, Trainspotting and The Wicker Man.