Burns Night 2022: What is Burns Night, who was Robert Burns, why Scots celebrate with whisky and haggis

Here’s everything you need to know about Burns Night, when Burns Night 2022 is and why Scots dine out on whisky, haggis and don tartan on this night each year

Burns Night 2022: Date of Burns Night 2022, what it is and how it is celebrated in Scotland (Image credit: Getty Images via Canva Pro)
Burns Night 2022: Date of Burns Night 2022, what it is and how it is celebrated in Scotland (Image credit: Getty Images via Canva Pro)

A cult and controversial figure in equal measure, Robert Burns remains an iconic and invaluable part of Scotland’s rich literary history.

The 18th century poet was best known for composing poems such as Auld Lang Syne, Tam o’Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss, with his distinctive, witty voice woven into the very fabric of Scottish culture.

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And every year, Scots come together to toast Rabbie Burns’ legacy on Burns Night.

A portrait of Robert Burns projected on to the front of Prestonfield House in Edinburgh during Burns Night, 2018. (Image credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

Here’s when Burns Night will fall in 2022, what the night is and how it is annually celebrated in Scotland.

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What is Burns Night?

Burns Night is celebrated each year in Scotland to mark the birth of legendary poet Robert Burns as Scotland’s “other national day” besides St Andrew’s Day in November.

Burns celebrations often see the culmination of a number of Scottish cultural traditions to pay tribute to Rabbie and his undying love of Scotland, its landscape and its people.

The first instance of Burns Night was held more than 200 years ago, when several of the poet’s closest friends came together to celebrate Burns and his works on the fifth anniversary of his death on July 21 1801.

The meal included haggis and sheep’s head, a performance of Burns’ poem, ‘Address to a Haggis’, and further recitals of Burns’ rich catalogue of songs and poems.

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When is Burns Night 2022?

This year’s Burns Night, which will see many Scots gather together to enjoy a wee dram or Burns Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties, will fall on Tuesday January 25.

It is held on January 25 each year on Robert Burns’ birthday and has been since 1803 – after Burns’ friends discovered that they had held their second Burns Supper celebrations on the incorrect date of January 29 the year prior.

This year, Burns Night 2022 will pay tribute to the Scots poet and lyricist on his 263rd birthday.

How do Scots celebrate Burns Night?

Burns Night has been historically celebrated in Scotland with a nourishing Burns Supper, which traditionally begins with a cock-a-leekie soup followed by haggis, neeps and tatties and plenty of drink and good cheer.

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There are usually a plethora of events to enjoy in Edinburgh and across Scotland, with ceilidhs letting revellers dance the night away and poetry readings recanting the best and brightest of Burns’ works.

Even despite restrictions on large events and hospitality in Scotland, celebrates and commemorations of the Scots bard have gained a new lease of life online – with the Big Burns Supper offering one such way to pay tribute to the poet and his legacy on Burns Night 2022.

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