As the annual celebration of all things Robert Burns approaches on 25th January, it’s time to recall all those poems studied at school, one of the joys of an education in Scotland! Burns of course is celebrated all over the world, so fasten your seatbelts and enjoy this whistle stop tour of Burns events near and far. I wonder what the man himself would make of all the fuss?
Regarded as one of the most international cities in the world, it is no surprise to find a Burns Extravaganza event at the Warwick Hotel on 30th January. Now in its 10th year, it promises whisky tasting, haggis, poetry, Scottish country dancing and cocktails with a tartan dress code although national costume is also acceptable!
Next stop is the fastest growing city in the world, where even the bus stops are air conditioned! Dubai’s well established Scottish association is holding a Burns Supper on 25th January with a full evening of Scottish culture and fun. There will be speeches, Dalmore whisky and some dancing into the wee small hours, all happening at the Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel. Temperatures are around 24 degrees this time of year so hope they’ve got plenty of ice!
Cape Town, South Africa
Off to even sunnier climes now, it will be a balmy 28 degrees in Cape Town on Robert Burns Day, how wonderful to celebrate Burns night in the height of summer! The biggest Burns event in Africa is held at Kelvin Grove club (named by a Glaswegian of course!) and kicks off with a Scottish gin cocktail, followed by a Grand March down the club drive into Burns night proper which is held in a Scottish themed ballroom. All are encouraged to dress in their best with a hint of tartan.
Over in Tokyo you can celebrate the legend of Robert Burns, oddly enough at the Tokyo American Club! A deluxe Burns supper is on offer with a 5 course menu, a piper, a ceilidh and an open bar with some fine whiskies to try, yes an open bar! I wonder which whiskies will be on the list!
Seattle, United States
If you are looking for something a bit different, you’ll find it in Seattle where they’re having a fusion Burns event called Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle, celebrating Robert Burns and Chinese New Year on 25th February at China Harbor Restaurant. (2018 will be the year of the dog) a blend of Chinese and Scottish culture with Lion dancers and pipers, and yes, it’s at the same time! This popular event raises money for Scottish and Chinese youth arts projects.
Back home to Glasgow and a Burns event celebrating human equality, kinship and conviviality, just some of the values Burns held dear. Organised by BEMIS (this will be a grand scale multicultural ceilidh at The Old Fruit market and organised as part of Celtic Connections music festival.
As you can see, there’s more than one way to celebrate our national poet, however you choose to celebrate we hope you have a wonderful time, remember, Freedom and Whisky gang the gither!