Although it’s a Scottish tradition, over recent years more people have been celebrating Burns Night across the UK. The annual event takes place on 25th January, the poet’s birthday.
This year, however, the usual suppers, ceilidhs and general knees-ups won’t be going ahead. So, why not celebrate Burns Night at home instead? Here’s some quirky and creative ideas to help you celebrate!
Learn to play the bagpipes online
Really? Yes, you can pretty much learn anything online these days, so why not the bagpipes? Being a Scottish tradition, the pipes are a big part of Burns Night. Formal Burns Night suppers often see guests arrive at the table accompanied by bagpipe music, and the haggis is traditionally piped in too.
OK, if you have thin walls, your neighbours might not be so enthusiastic, but there’s no time like the present to learn something new. And in the future it’s going to be one hell of a party piece!
Cook a haggis
No Burns Night celebration would be complete without haggis, so why not have a go at cooking one up? Here’s how to cook haggis in a pot.
Why not learn to recite a poem by Burns and then perform it to your friends via Zoom? If you’re unfamiliar with Burns’ songs and poems, then it’s worth mentioning that he wrote Auld Lang Syne. But there are plenty of other famous pieces including his comical Address to a Haggis. Tam o’ Shanter, a poem about a man’s drunken visions, could be a good one to try!
If this sounds like a lot of effort, you could just watch a recital instead.
Visit the Burns Birthplace Museum
OK, so realistically you’re not going to be able to do this in person, but you can take a tour of the museum from home. There are a few videos on YouTube (like the one below) that’ll allow you to do that. Especially if you don’t know much about Burns, or Burns Night, it’s an interesting insight into the man and traditions.
Raise a glass
Check out Visit Scotland’s ebook on hosting a Burns Night supper for more ideas. Obviously it will just be your household (or several households via the power of video) but it could be a fun way to perk up a dark January evening!
For more quirky events to entertain you during this pandemic, check out our online events page.