- Louise Stoddart
- 12 January 2018
Festivals, comedy nights, traditional Burns suppers and more
Every year on or around the poet’s birthday, Scots come together to celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns. The ritual typically involves haggis, whisky and poetry but a whole host of cultural events are organised as a way to mark Burns Night. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve pulled together some of the most interesting events so you can honour the bard’s birthday in style.
Red, Red Rose Street
A three-day celebration of all things Burns, where visitors can take part in a number of different events and activities happening along Rose Street. Programme highlights include spoken word, a comedy show, the Bairns Trail and a family ceilidh.
Rose Street, Thu 25–Sat 27 Jan.
This new multi-arts festival at Summerhall will showcase unique interpretations of the work of the bard. The festival name is inspired by the epigraph printed at the beginning of his first ever poetry collection, the Kilmarnock edition. The visual arts programme features over 30 artists, including newly commissioned work from four Scottish based artists.
Summerhall, Thu 25–Sat 10 Mar.
Burns Unbound in Edinburgh
Ceilidh dancing, live music, Burns poetry and more for all the family. Wee ones can learn all about Scots tales in the storybook corner or sign up for Traditional Tunes for Tiny People. Adults can check out the poetry workshop with Loud Poets, who’ll also be performing live spoken word.
National Museum of Scotland, Sun 21 Jan.
Burns Night Ceilidh
If you’d rather join a traditional ceilidh to celebrate Burns Night, the annual event at Lauriston Hall is one of the most popular in the city. There’s music from the Flaming Heather ceilidh band, and caller Ken Gourlay will help guide you through each dance.
Lauriston Hall, Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jan.
Burns Night Supper and Ceilidh
Enjoy cock-a-leekie soup before the haggis is piped in and addressed with a wee dram, followed by cranachan for dessert. After the three course dinner, there’s a traditional ceilidh by Shenanigans.
The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jan.
Annasach’s Burns Night Ceilidh
Over at The Counting House (a venue where Robert Burns was once entertained by poet Thomas Blacklock) there’s a ceilidh from 8pm, with a buffet supper of haggis neeps and tatties. Ceilidh caller Tricia will be there to explain each dance, so all experience levels are welcome.
Counting House, Thu 25–Sat 27 Jan.
Supper with Burns
The annual Burns supper in the Storytelling Court serves up a three course dinner with live music and storytelling. This year’s storytellers are David Campbell and Ruth Kirkpatrick and clarsach player Katie Harrigan will also perform, as well as Daniel Allison and his rendition of Tam O’Shanter.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Wed 24 & Thu 25 Jan.
Burns at the Close
The Real Mary King’s Close has teamed up with Wedgwood the Restaurant for the ultimate Burns Night celebration. The evening begins with a three course Scottish dinner at Wedgwood, followed by readings of Burns’ poetry. Guests are then escorted over to The Real Mary King’s Close for a tour, before enjoying a dram in the Burgh Courtroom.
The Real Mary King’s Close, Fri 26 Jan.
Live music and comedy
Burns Night Special
Honour the bard with two nights of comedy at The Stand, hosted by Susan Morrison. On Wednesday the line up includes Vladimir McTavish, Phil Differ and on Sunday, Stephen Carlin, Gus Lymburn, Donald Alexander and Joe McTernan.
The Stand, Wed 24 & Sun 28 Jan.
Edinburgh Folk Club’s Burns Night
Haggis, neeps and tatties with entertainment from piper Roddy MacDonald, George Duff, Kevin McLeod, Leo McCann and a rendition of The Selkirk Grace by Bill Macdonald. A folky celebration for Burns Night.
The Pleasance, Wed 24 Jan.