Robert Burns (1759-1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish bard (poet) and Burns night is celebrated annually on 25th January, the date on which he was born although it is not a public holiday in Scotland.
The evening of Burns Night is traditionally centered around the entrance of the haggis, which is a sheep’s stomach stuffed with minced heart, liver and lungs with onion, suet, oatmeal and spices. The haggis is brought to the table whilst a piper is playing the bagpipes. The host of the meal reads the “Address to a Haggis“, an ode/poem that Robert Burns wrote. It is then sliced into two pieces and shared by the guests. Neeps and tatties are usually served with this dish. Neeps are mashed turnips or swede and tatties are mashed potatoes. Whisky tends to be the drink of choice.
Guests often wear their traditional tartan in the form of a kilt for men and skirts or dresses for women. Tartan is a design on a woollen fabric with particular colours and patterns associated with different places and families of Scotland.
Burns wrote many poems and folk songs, the most famous being “Auld Lang Syne“, traditionally sung after bringing in the New Year or Hogmanay as it is known in Scotland.