How to Spend Burns Night in Edinburgh 2017
It’s always nice to have something to look forward to when Christmas and Hogmanay is over, and here in Scotland we’re lucky to have our “second national day”, Burns Night, to celebrate on the 25th of January. Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and also well known worldwide.
What is a traditional Burns Supper?
Burns night has been celebrated with a dinner called Burns Supper ever since 1803, and very little has changed since then. The guests are generally greeted by a piper, then the host says a few words to welcome the guests and when the guests are seated it is time to say grace, usually the Selkirk Grace. The supper starts with soup after which it is time for one of the highlights; the “piping of the haggis”. The haggis is brought in on a big plate accompanied by a piper and laid down on the host’s table. To make the haggis feel welcome it is then time to recite Address to a Haggis.
The haggis is served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) followed by a dessert, coffee, toasts and speeches. Reciting poems and singing songs by the poet is also a natural part of the evening – as is Scotch Whisky of course! The evening is brought to an end with everybody standing up and joining hands whilst singing Auld Lang Syne.
Attending a traditional Scottish dance called Ceilidh is also a popular and fun way of spending Burns Night – in fact many dinners are followed by dancing into the wee hours. If you don’t have any plans yet, there are many Burns Night events to take part in in Edinburgh – before, on and after the 25th of January. We’ve put together a list of them below that we hope you will find useful!
Burns Night Suppers, Ceilidhs and other events in Edinburgh
Prestonfield Burns Night Dinner – A legendary annual Burns Supper for an evening of wit, wine, food and entertainment. 19th January
Tam O’Shanter: Telling the big Tale – Explore Robert Burns’ master narrative and learn how to recite this most mighty of tales. 20th January
Lauriston Hall Burns Night Ceilidhs – The Flaming Heather ceilidh band and caller Ken Gourlay set off Burns Night right, with a few folk dancers and a piper in tow. 20th & 21st January
The Ghillie Dhu Rabbie Burns Experience – A traditional Burns Supper experience accompanied by live Scots folk music and one of Scotland’s top Ceilidh bands. 20-28th January
Burns Unbound at the National Museum of Scotland – A day of Burns-themed fun for all ages. 22nd January
Burns for beginners at Edinburgh Castle – Come along for a light-hearted introduction to the bard and some of his works. 21st-25th January
Whiski Rooms Burns Night Supper – A memorable night with bagpipes, speeches, haggis and whisky of course. 21st & 25th January
Cafe Ceilidh: Burns Celebration – An afternoon session of traditional songs, music, poems & stories celebrating Robert Burns. 24th January
Supper with Burns at the Scottish Storytelling Centre – A delicious 3-course Scottish dinner and a generous helping of Burns’ stories. 24th & 25th January
Burns Supper by Paul Wedgwood – A creative take on the traditional Burns Supper. 25th January
Burns Night at Whiski Bar – A 3-course traditional meal with a Scottish fiddle band playing. 25th January
Burns Night at the Pantry – Tam O’Shanter and live folk music whilst you enjoy some traditional scran with a Pantry style twist. 25th January
Burns Night Supper at North Bridge Brasserie – 4 exceptional courses with perfectly paired whiskies. 25th January
Burns Supper on board the Royal Yacht Britannia – A delicious 4-course supper will be served in the State Dining Room followed by a whisky tasting in the State Drawing Room. 27th January
Edinburgh’s biggest Burns Supper for St Columba’s – A 3-course dinner with entertainment and dancing throughout the night at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. 27th January
Burns Night at the Scottish Cafe & Restaurant – A delicious 3-course meal and then dance the night away as the resident Ceilidh Band entertains you with reels and jigs until midnight. 27th & 28th January
Annasach’s Burns Night Ceilidh at the Counting House – Annasach Ceilidh Band invites you to an informal celebration of The Bard’s birthday. Buffet & a Famous Grouse included. 27th & 28th January
The Stand Comedy Club: Burns Night Special – an evening of top comedy and some traditional Scottish fayre at one of Edinburgh’s most famous comedy clubs. 29th January
Host your own supper
If you would like to invite friends and family over for a Burns Supper in Edinburgh but don’t have a place to host it in we can help you! We have a range of warm and welcoming self catering homes in the centre of Edinburgh where you can get together a group of people and celebrate Scotland’s national poet. (Or any other occasion for that matter!)