Xanthe takes a look at Burns Night

Burns Night, it’s that time of year!

The 25th January is a date many of you may think is like any other day, but in Scotland it’s Burns Night and it’s a bit special. Celebrated throughout Scotland with festivals and an interesting meal called Burns supper. Burn’s Night is celebrated in the name of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. He wrote hundreds of poems, one of which you’re likely to have sung (yes sung) recently but more on that later.

 Who was Robert Bruns?

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland on the 25th of January, hence why it’s celebrated on the 25th. He was one of seven children (bet that was a long queue for the bathroom in the morning).

Unfortunately he died at the very young age of 37 on July 21st 1796 of a heart condition called Endocarditis following a dental extraction in 1795. He had 12 children by 4 different women! (Clearly, he liked to flirt

How is Burns night celebrated?

Burns night nowadays is celebrated in very much the same way as it was the very first time. Although the date was slightly different, due to a mix up over Robert Burns birth date, some thought it was the 29th. The first Burns supper was held in Burns Cottage where he was born. The event was held by Burn’s friends on the 29th January 1802. But by 1803, they had discovered the Ayr parish records that noted his date of birth was actually 25th January 1759 (Awkward!).

Burns suppers, as they are referred to, usually include Scottish haggis, served up with mashed turnips and potatoes. Other Traditions included reading of his poems, dancing and traditional Scottish music played on bagpipes. Oh and don’t forget the wee dram of Whisky!

Poems at midnight

You may be sat there thinking but I’m not Scottish and never heard of Burns night or Robert Burns himself. But I can guarantee at some point every one of us has sung one of his poems. One of Robert Burns poems was “Auld Lang Syne” the song most often sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve (interesting fact in Scotland they call it Hogmanay).

So what has all this got to do with glasses and why is an optician writing about Burns Night, I hear you cry. Well let me tell you, absolutely nothing! Although we do stock some lovely Scottish frames including the amazing Hemp Eyewear, which is handmade in Edinburgh.

But this evening is Burns Night and we plan to enjoy it, so I’ll raise a wee dram to you as we celebrate Robbie Burns 261st birthday.

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