January may seem like a month of rest and relaxation after festive indulgences, but there are plenty of reasons to keep celebrating with Burns Night on 25 January.
Scots and visitors alike can toast Robert Burns’ legacy on the big night (the anniversary of his birth) and celebrate Scotland with a wee dram and a traditional Burns supper of haggis, neeps and tatties. There are also exciting events taking place across Scotland, including the Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries (think cabaret acts, comedy and music alongside the haggis) as well as the world’s first Burns Supper drive-thru in South Ayrshire.
After enjoying the food, Scotland fans can then follow in the Bard’s footsteps including his birthplace, Alloway in Ayrshire – home to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – and Dumfries, which is home to places such as Ellisland Farm (built by Robert Burns as his home in 1788) and the Globe Inn pub (established in 1610, which was regularly frequented by Burns and is home to some fascinating memorabilia).
Big Burns Supper
Dumfries (various venues), 23 January – 2 February 2020
A Burns supper with a twist, the world’s biggest contemporary Burns celebration runs for 11 days at the end of January in the vibrant capital of South Scotland, Dumfries. The festival takes place in venues, bars, art galleries, museums and has an 800-capacity Spiegeltent which includes a strong roster of international names taking place.
The line-up for 2020 includes music from Morcheeba, Newton Faulkner and Elephant Sessions; burlesque performers Le Haggis (who might have even made Burns himself blush); and critically acclaimed Band of Burns who will bring their unique take on the Bard’s works at Burns Night Live on 25 January. Brand-new for this year is the addition of two performances of Family Le Haggis,bringing all that is brilliant and bizarre from Dumfries’ favourite cabaret show but suitable for audiences of all ages.
For more information and to book online, go to http://bigburnssupper.com/ or call the Dumfries box office on 01381 271 820.
Burns’ Hame Toun Events
(various venues), 23 – 27 January 2020
Celebrate the bard in his ‘hame toun’ with a celebration street party, Burns live music nights, Alloway birthday celebrations, the only Burns Supper in the world to take place in Burns Cottage, the winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award and a lot more.
The world’s first Burns Supper Drive Thru will take place at Newhailes House & Gardens in Edinburgh on 25 January. Visitors can order their meals on arrival and enjoy from the comfort of their own cars. A bit of poetry or a song can also be expected.
Various prices; for more information see www.burnsfestival.com. For more on the Burns Supper Drive Thru go to www.nts.org.uk/visit/events/burns-supper-drive-thru.
Supper with Burns at the Scottish Storytelling Centre
Edinburgh, 23 & 24 January 2020
Enjoy a delicious three-course Scottish dinner – with the centre piece Haggis – and a generous helping of Burns’ stories and songs. Hosted by storytellers David Campbell and Ruth Kirkpatrick, with clarsach player Katie Harrigan. Also featuring Donald Smith’s rendition of Tam O’Shanter. Don’t forget to wear some tartan! There are other events such as Burns for Brunch on 25 January and a family ceilidh.
Tickets are £30 for Supper with Burns. For more information see www.scottishstorytellingcentre.com.
For more information on Robert Burns and Burns Night, visit www.visitscotland.com/burns
Mark Bibby Jackson
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