What is Burns Night and how can I celebrate it in London?

Burns Night 2020

Sally, our Senior Teacher, tells us about the famous Scottish night celebrated on 25thJanuary, and the best places to join in and enjoy the festivities here in London.


A traditional Scottish dance, the Ceilidh

My dad is from Scotland, so I was brought up celebrating Burns Night. It is a night to celebrate the life and works of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). Burns is the national poet of Scotland, who wrote lyrics and songs in Scots and in English.

In the present day, the most famous of his works is “Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve (31stDecember) all around the world. The main chorus can be translated to roughly mean “for old times sake”. It is seen in a famous scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ at midnight on New Year’s Eve.


The Scottish instrument, the Bagpipes

Burns night is a huge celebration of Scottish culture. The night involves music including the Scottish instrument the bagpipes, food including the famous Scottish dish ‘haggis’, and not to forget a generous portion of ale and scotch whisky! Some nights also feature the traditional Scottish dance: the Ceilidh.


Haggis, a national Scottish dish enjoyed on Burns night

If you want to get involved while you are here in London, you can enjoy Burns Night across the city! My personal recommendations are as follows:

  1. Go for a traditional Scottish meal of Haggis @ Mac and Wild, Fitzrovia. Book online

  2. Go for a traditional Ceilidh dance – this is honestly so much fun! – @ Cecil Sharp House, Camden. Tickets online 

  3. Go to a very modern version of Burns Night out at Hootananny Brixton – late-night live music in one of my favourite venues in South London! Tickets online

  4. Go and try some Scotch Whisky at Skylight Burns Bash – Tobacco Docks. Tickets online

I hope you enjoy Burns Night 2020! But not too much, as on Sunday 26th this year is Lunar New Year. Don’t miss the parade in China Town! Find out more here. 

Thanks Sally for your contribution to our blog! To find out more about our school please follow this link: www.ttischool.com

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