The Ultimate Guide to Burns Night

Around the world tributes to Robert Burns are held through the ritual of the Burns Supper. Originally started a few years after his death by a group of his friends and acquaintances, to honour his memory, the suppers are now celebrated annually on the date of his birth, 25th January.

Learn how to host the perfect Burns Supper below.

Burns' Food

The centrepiece of any good Burns Supper menu is the iconic haggis, or as the bard himself described it, the 'great chieftain o' the puddin'-race'.


Whisky is the usual choice at Burns Suppers, either malts or blends. Contrary to popular belief, adding a little water to your malt may improve rather than dilute the flavour, although some whisky drinkers may not take kindly to watering down their drams!


Traditional recitals on the evening include the 'Selkirk Grace' and the 'Address to a Haggis'. Other recitals on the evening include a speech commemorating Burns and a toast to the great man, known as the 'Immortal Memory', the 'Address to the Lassies' and of course 'The Reply from the Lassies', which are normally created especially for the evening.

Burns fact gallery

7 facts you probably never knew about Robert Burns.

What to wear

If you're hosting this event at home then literally anything goes, but it is definitely recommended that you wear at least a little bit of tartan! Whether it be a tartan hat, a tartan tie, or the full kilt get up, it's entirely up to you.

Kilt Up

Dress yourself in true Scottish attire using our Kilt Up interactive.

Life and death of Burns

An overview of the life and death of Burns.

Name that Burns

Do you know your Burns poetry? Take our quiz and find out how much you really know!

The Ultimate Burns Quiz

Have some friendly competition this Burns night with our 'Ultimate Burns Quiz'. Download the quiz sheet and put your knowledge of Burns past and present to the test!