Burns Night 2019: When is it? Who was Robert Burns? What food should you eat? Is it a bank holiday? Where can you have Burns supper in Portsmouth?

Burns Night is one of the most famous Scottish celebrations around.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 4:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:12 pm
Burns Night is almost upon us again. Picture: Adam Fairbrother

Taking place at the end of January, it is a chance for Scots - and everyone else in the UK - to get rid of those January blues. 

Here's what you need to know: 

When is Burns Night? 

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Burns Night is almost upon us again. Picture: Adam Fairbrother

In 2019 it will take place on Friday, January 25 – which is just over two weeks from now. It is celebrated on Robert Burns’s birthday. 

Who was Robert Burns? 

The Bard of Ayrshire, as he is often known, was a 18th Century poet and lyricist who is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. 

Born in Alloway in Ayrshire, Scotland, on January 25, 1759,  Robert Burns was just 37 when he died on July 21, 1796, but despite the short length of his life he managed to have an enormous impact and his work is still celebrated around the world today. 

Burns Night is almost upon us again. Picture: Adam Fairbrother

Burns poem/ song Auld Lang Syne is still widely sung on New Year’s Eve across the UK, not just in Scotland, while Scots Wha Hae was used as the unofficial national anthem of Scotland for many years. 

In 2009 he was named the greatest Scot of all time in a public vote, narrowly beating William Wallace. 

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Is Burns Night a bank holiday? 

Burns Night is almost upon us again. Picture: Adam Fairbrother

Sadly it is not a bank holiday in Scotland or the rest of the UK – so you won't be getting January 25 off work. 

What happens on Burns Night? 

Traditionally Burns Night is celebrated by having a supper to celebrate his life. 

These Burns suppers can either be formal or informal and feature a range of traditional Scottish dishes, as well as the readings of his poems. 

Celebrate Burns Night on-board the HMS Warrior. Picture: Chris Stephens.

At more formal events, a piper generally greets the guests as they arrive for the evening. 

The first supper was help in 1801 at Burns Cottage by his friends on the fifth anniversary of his death - it has since become a widespread event celebrated annually. 

What food should you eat on Burns Night? 

Typically a formal Burns supper will include a soup course – normally a Scottish soup like Scotch broth – which is followed by haggis as the main course, while sometimes a cheese course and dessert are also included. 

The dessert is often being cranachan – a traditional Scottish dessert – and the meal being washed down with Scotch Whisky. 

What is haggis? 

This traditional dish from Scotland is made from the innards of a sheep – the heart, liver and lungs – which is minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal's stomach. 

Will there be Burns supper in Portsmouth? 

The chain restaurant Loch Fyne in Gunwharf Quays will be putting on a Burns Night menu on January 25, which will include Haggis – as well as other options for those who don’t fancy having that.  And there will also be a Burns Night celebration on-board the HMS Warrior at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. The event will begin at 7pm on January 25 and last until 11.45pm - tickets, for £85, are available for purchase here. The Jolly Sailor in Southsea will hold a dinner on Sunday, January 27. Tickets are £15 and can be booked on 023 9229 5195.

The Rainbow Centre in Fareham is holding a Burns Night Supper & Dance on January 25 at Ferneham Hall, from 7pm to 11pm. Tickets are £28 and can be booked on 01329 289500

Are you planning on celebrating Burns Night tonight? Let us know in the comments – or send pictures of how you celebrated it to us either via Facebook messages or email [email protected]