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? 

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

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. 

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

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

Here's what you need to know: 

When is Burns Night? 

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? 

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

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

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. 

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

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

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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? 

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

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

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. 

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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? 

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 Matt.Mohan-Hickson@JPIMedia.co.uk