Burns Night 2022: When is Burns Night, who was Robert Burns, what food should you eat, what is in haggis and is it a bank holiday?

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

By Matthew Mohan-Hickson
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 3:59 pm

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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In 2022, it will take place on Tuesday, January 25 (which is today).

Why is celebrated Burns Night on January 25?

It is celebrated on January 25 because this was Robert Burns’ 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 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?

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.

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.

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