What is Burns Night and how is the work of Robert Burns celebrated in Scotland?

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BURNS night is celebrated on January 25 – which yes, means it’s TONIGHT!

But how do Scots celebrate the occasion? Here’s everything you need to know…

 A haggis is a Scottish dish traditionally made from the heart, stomach or liver of a sheep or calf
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Burns Night feast: A haggis is a Scottish dish traditionally made from the heart, stomach or liver of a sheep or calf[/caption]

What is Burns Night, what happens?

Every year the life and work of poet Robert Burns is celebrated around the globe on January 25.

The tradition began after the Scottish lyricist’s death in 1796, when his friends decided they needed an annual event to celebrate his career.

When it was first launched, Burns’ friends decided to hold the event annually on the date the poet died (July 21).

However, Burns night nowadays is held every year on January 25, which was his birthday.

This year Burns Night falls on a Friday.

On Burns Night, there are toasts, someone recites the Burns poem Address To A Haggis and those celebrating cut into a haggis and eating neeps, tatties and a wee dram – turnips, potatoes and whiskey.

 The haggis and address are usually the star attraction in the running order of events for Burns Night
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The haggis and address are usually the star attraction in the running order of events for Burns Night[/caption]

How is it celebrated in Scotland?

In Scotland, many people host their own Burns Night suppers – but there are also events people can attend in celebration.

According to List.co.uk, the Royal Botanic Garden, in Edinburgh,  will host a traditional Burns Supper, dance, poetry and music.

Ayr is hosting its annual festival Burns An’ A’That! 2019.

The celebration of the poet, who was born in south Ayrshire, includes wreath laying, Burns Supper, live music and the World’s First Burns Supper Drive Thru.

In Glasgow the Ponopticon Burns Night includes eating, drinking, music and comedy.

 The Burns night celebration centres on the entrance of the haggis
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The Burns Night celebration centres on the entrance of the haggis[/caption]

How do you address a haggis?

The haggis is the star attraction in the running order of events for Burns Night.

Guests normally stand to welcome the arrival of the dish, which is often served on a silver platter and piped in by bagpipes.

The host then performs a rendition of the Address To A Haggis, before slicing the haggis along its length.


The reader then raises the haggis during the final line of the ode to applause from the crowd.

The guests then toast the haggis and then the dish can served.

There are usually several toasts throughout the evening, with the night ending with guests holding hands singing Auld Lang Syne.

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