Burns Night 2021: How our readers are spending Burns Night amid lockdown

It’s going to be a Burns Night like no other this evening, with lockdown restrictions meaning traditional celebrations will have to be put on hold until next year.

While we can’t gather together to mark the life and works of our national Bard, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy a night of food, drink and poetry in our own homes.

We asked our readers what they planned and it seems there will be no lack of people raising a glass to the memory of Robert Burns.

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Alistair Cruickshank will be marking the evening in as normal a way as possible, given the circumstances: “It will be the first time in 20 years that I will not be taking part in a Burns Supper but we have a haggis in and I plan to address it as usual and post it on Facebook. I will also hopefully recite ‘To a Mouse’ and ‘Tam O'Shanter’.”

Readers will still be enjoying the traditional Burns Night meal of haggis in lockdown.

It’s a time for celebration and reflection for Russ Means: “I’ll be having haggis, neeps and tatties, steak pie, and a good scotch. I will watch the piping of the haggis and the prayer. Then I’ll look at my pictures from my past visits and dream of a better day.”

Many are looking forward to sitting down to a traditional meal, including Erma Keet: "Findlay's haggis, neeps, tatties, a dram and a good bottle of red in the house with my man. All thanks to Burns. I can't wait!”

It’s a similar menu for Leah Ala: “I’m having haggis, tatties, Atholl Brose and a clootie dumpling. And plenty of Scotch, of course.”

And the meal will still be a family occasion for Nikki Scott: “I'll be having haggis, tatties and neeps which will be washed down with a dram of single malt with my sons at home.”

Morag Dunlop isn’t letting being by herself stop her enjoying the night: “I’ll be alone with a dram or two.”

Stuart Kenneth Whyte will even be getting dressed for the occasion: “I’ll be celebrating with my kilt on and my haggis supper.”

Those overseas face additional challenges in finding all the ingredients for a perfect Burns Night, but Helen Lindsay will find a way: “Well I’m in the States now but I’m having haggis, mashed potatoes and turnip. In the States they call it rutabaga. I like haggis but it’s not made like it used to be. There’s a British store here where you can buy it – they even have canned haggis.”

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Schroeder Hls faces a similar problem: “I’ll have a wee dram and shortbread. It’s hard to find good haggis in Canada.”

And for Linda Calk the tastes of Scotland will evoke some happy memories: “I’ll be fixing some special Scottish dishes and dreaming of travelling again in Scotland.”

Others will put their own contemporary twist on proceedings, William Henderson chosing from a range of dishes: “I’ll either get a haggis supper, haggis pizza or buy one tomorrow and do it with chips and beans. Haggis nachos are great too.”

Dennis Barry will also be looking to Italy for inspiration: “I’ll be in the house due to this worldwide pandemic munching on a haggis pizza. Mmm!”

James W Quinn diesn’t seen why haggis should just be for Burns Night: “I never celebrate occasions like this – even Christmas and I eat haggis, neeps and tatties every couple of weeks anyway. Anyhoo, each tae their own and aw that – do enjoy peeps!”

Finally, Mary McRae has just one problem to solve before tucking in: “It’ll be the same as every night but with haggis – if I can catch one in the snow.”

If you are looking for a way to celebrate Burns Night tonight why not join the Scotsman’s Scran Burns Night Special live on Facebook at 7pm, featuring a guest appearance by Outlander’s Sam Heughan.

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