If you don’t live in Scotland, you might not see anything special about January 25th. But for those of you north of the border, I’ll be joining in this Monday to celebrate Burns Night, one of Scotland’s national holidays.
No one celebrates like the Scots, which is why I’m heading to Edinburgh to celebrate the occasion with friends. I wasn’t able to come up last year, but the Burns Supper I held at home was a great success – I even got my friends to eat haggis, which was no small achievement!
The excitement doesn’t all have to be indoors though, and as a national holiday you can always find plenty of opportunities to celebrate in public – especially in the big cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, where pubs and restaurants bring out special menus and live performances abound.
As for the food and drink themselves, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Scotland’s national holiday is celebrated with traditional cuisine and Scotch whisky. Haggis is available everywhere in Scotland, but even in the rest of the UK it’s easy enough to find it online. And if you’re a little put off by the idea of what you’re eating, you’ll be glad to hear that veggie haggis is just as readily available and many people actually prefer the taste.
Some companies have gone even further to cash in on the holiday, with haggis producers MacSween introducing the ‘One Minute Haggis’ this year – two slices of haggis that can be microwaved in 60 seconds and put in a bun. Sounds tasty enough, but I don’t think MacDonalds will be losing sleep over it somehow!
Even though I admit I’m not so much into the poetry that often forms a part of the celebrations (Robert Burns, whose birthday the event commemorates, was a poet after all!), Burns Night is a great occasion to eat, drink and be merry in great company. After all, Christmas and New Year were a long time ago… right?