For those new to Edinburgh, you may be trying to familiarise yourself with all the traditional Scottish events that occur. Aside from the ceilidhs, the reeling balls and the infamous Hogmanay, you have the annually celebrated Burns Night. On the anniversary of his birth on 25 January, the life of Scottish poet – better known as the National Bard – Robert Burns is celebrated. The event is often marked with a dinner known as Burns supper, involving a traditional Scottish meal of haggis, neeps and tatties (or turnip and potatoes) washed down with copious amounts of Scotch whisky.
The celebration was started by his close friends following his death, to honour the Scottish poet with food, drinking, singing, dancing and recitals of his most celebrated works. Now it is not only a nationally recognised event, but has spread worldwide as well. This is a night to celebrate at least once during your time at Edinburgh, so here are some ideas for what to do.
Eusa are running an event on the night in Teviot, Debating Hall from 8pm to midnight, priced at £5 for students, and £6 for non-students. A real bargain price for traditional Scottish food and a ceilidh!
Elsewhere in Edinburgh there are alternative events to the traditional Burns Supper. The Scottish Storytelling Centre are holding a number of events from 21 January to 6 February. One highlight includes Burns for Beginners on 22 January: an opportunity to hear his most celebrated poems and songs performed with a live musical accompaniment alongside discussions on the context.
If you’re not too keen on singing and dancing, but love the food, then try the unconventional Burns Night at V Deep in Leith. On the night itself you can indulge in the three course menu inspired by Burns, but given a twist by this Indian restaurant. For example, the main includes Haggis Naan! If you can’t get enough of the Haggis Naan, then enter the eating competition: eat as much naan as you can in three minutes. A chance for you to win a free curry and beer dinner for you and three friends. Tickets are £20.
No one can deny that Edinburgh offers all types of diverse ways to honour the National Bard and that it’s a great opportunity to get out in the city and immerse yourself in Scottish culture and traditional food!
Image: Flickr: [JWoodPhotography]