The most affably patriotic day in the national calendar of Scotland, Burns Night falls every year on 25th January and commemorates Robert Burns. Whether you know him as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire or Ploughman Poet, this 18th century literary virtuoso still sparks nationwide celebrations on his birthday after two-and-a-half centuries since his birth in what is now a suburb of Ayr.
Burns’ contributions to Scottish culture, identity and heritage remain far-reaching. The sufferer of many hardships throughout his brief life, his proto-Romantic lyricism crowned him a literary luminary of his time and his influence is celebrated the world over to this day. Having inspired countless literary figures in his stead – from William Wordsworth to Hugh MacDiarmid – Burns is considered the father of modern poetry in Scots.
The joyful, pastoral sentimentality of his works are qualities that have spilled into the annual celebration of his life and poetry. From chanting the Hogmanay hymn of “Auld Lang Syne” to considering the rustic imagery in “To a Mouse”, all Scots revere Rabbie’s vivacious verse:
“Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.”
The Burns Supper
The quintessentially Scottish night is headlined by the Burns Supper. This tradition involves eating your spirit merry from Scotland’s classic dishes with a hearty dram to bring out the full flavour of the experience. The scene is foregrounded with the poetic flair of the national poet, bringing to life his musings about love situated between the natural world and human nature. Haggis, tatties and neeps will be there to whet your appetite and make your belly sing!
…In the City of Stirling
The city resplendent with Scottish history is putting on an event or two for this remarkable occasion. In remembrance of Burns’ own visits to Stirling, a grand event is being held in Stirling Castle. You’ll be driven in carriages to the black tie affair taking place in the Great Hall, where James IV himself banqueted. Len Murray, Des Clarke (MC & Toast to the Lassies) and Susie Chown will be entertaining the audience alongside musical performances from Gnoss Duo with Josie Duncan, the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band and the Lone Piper.
If you’re venturing up from the Central Belt of Scotland, try making an off-route stop on your way to our hotel or back on the way down after your stay. Down in Mugdock Country Park, an entertaining show for all the family pays tribute to the highlights of Rabbie’s life. Fizzgig Theatre delivers the life and times of the national poet in a beautifully accessible format for children, so make sure to grab a seat. Tickets are £7 for children and £11 for adults.
Let Us Be Your Hosts…
With the festivities of Burns Night beckoning, why not stay with us at Dunblane? Our Glenallan Room and other function venues is the perfect place to toast the great Scot with a dram. What’s more, our winter sale is still on so you could be looking at savings of up to 25% on overnight accommodation at our hotel. But hurry, the offer ends 31 January! Extras include full use of indoor pool, sauna and gym, free parking, a lazy 12pm checkout and unlimited breakfast plus dinner, with the finest Scottish ingredients, at The Kailyard by Nick Nairn.
… And Finish with a Dance!
“Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!”
Finishing off this soul-affirming day for Scotland, a jubilant cèilidh is sure to lift your spirits for the rest of the year. The communion of closeness is best experienced in this iconic folk dance which binds Scots and their kindred spirits in energetic Celtic music. Let the violins and pipes make your movements merry and lead you to the best location to be in for Burns Night 2018. See you there!