Burns Night Leeds 2022: what is Burns night and why do we celebrate it - and events near me
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Burns night, or 'Burns supper', is a celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns.
Each year Scots across the world raise a glass of whisky to Burns on his birthday, 25 January, and enjoy a traditional meal of haggis and swede to accompany it.
But why do so many Scots celebrate Burns night?
Here is everything you need to know about Burns night - as well as some events happening in Leeds to attend this week.
Why do we celebrate Burns night?
Burns Night is considered to be a national holiday alongside St Andrew’s Day for Scotland.
Celebrated on 25 January every year, the festivities raise a glass to the life of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
Burns lived between 1759 and 1796, and is widely regarded as the national bard of Scotland.
Burns’ most popular poems include To a Mouse, Tam o’Shanter, A Red, Red Rose and, of course, Auld Lang Syne - all of which were written in the Scottish dialect.
What is a bard?
A bard is a poet, traditionally one reciting epics and associated with a particular oral tradition.
The word originates in Celtic cultures, and refers to a professional storyteller, verse-maker, music composer, oral historian and genealogist.
How do people celebrate Burns night?
The night begins with everyone gathering for the Burns supper, the Selkirk Grace being said before the food comes out.
Each attendee enjoys a hearty meal made up of haggis, neeps and tatties - accompanied by plenty of whisky.
After everybody is full, a tribute speech to Burns is performed followed by 'the Toast to the Lassies'.
This is a brief speech made by a male guest, which is intended to thank the women who prepared the meal.
The women are then given the chance to make their own jokes called 'the Reply to the Toast to the Lassies'.
The night is brought to a close as everyone sings Auld Lang Syne.
What events are there in Leeds this week?
Burns Night at The Tetley
On Friday 28 January at 7.30pm a special celebration of Burns night is being held at the Tetley.
Both food and drink will be provided, and UK malts ambassador for Brown-Forman Charlotte Coyle will be talking guests through each whisky on offer.
Burns Night at West Park RUFC
Over at West Park RUFC on 29 January the Charity Ceilidh and Burns Night Supper will be taking place from 7pm.
Join them for a Burns Night supper of haggis, neeps and tatties and traditional Scottish dancing with a live Ceilidh band.
Burns Night at Meat is Dead
Meat Is Dead presents the Robert Burns Supper on 25 January - an evening with food and drinks to celebrate the life and works of the great Scottish poet.
The event starts at 7pm with a Scottish-based vegan meal.
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