Burns Night is a staple celebration in the Scottish calendar, and this year it falls on January 25.

The annual festivities include a feast, music and dancing – while giving a nod to the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

In 2021 Burns Night celebrations will undoubtedly be different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But Scots will no doubt be able to still enjoy the night at home this year.

Here is everything you need to know about Robert Burns – and how Burns Night is celebrated.

Who was Robert Burns?

Robert, also known as Rabbie Burns, was a poet who wrote more than 550 poems and songs in his lifetime.

He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1759 and was a farmer by trade – managing his time between work and writing.

Burns is considered the national poet of Scotland, and was a massive source of inspiration to the founders of Liberalism and Socialism.

The writer is known for his social commentary and focus on all things political.

His poem/song Auld Lang Syne is still sung today, and is a prominent feature at New Year and Hogmanay celebrations around the world.

Burns died of rheumatic fever at the age of just 37 on July 21 1796.

How is Burns Night celebrated?

The first celebration of his life took place at his home, Burns Cottage, by his friends in 1801.

Suppers have been held ever since, all featuring similar elements.

Burns Night festivities usually involve a Burns Supper – feating readings of his poetry.

His seminal works include To a Mouse, Tam o’Shanter and A Red, Red Rose.

After everyone has gathered for the feast, the host says a few words to welcome the guests, before food comes out.

The feast usually involves baggies, keeps and tatties, sometimes washed down with drams of whisky.

Usually the guests will stand as a bagpiper less in the haggis, which is carried by the chef.

After the haggis is eaten, someone reads the Burns’ Address to a Haggis.

Once everyone is full, someone will usually perform the Immortal Memory, followed by a Toast to the Lassies.

To end the night the host thanks the guests for coming, and everyone sands to sing Auld Lang Syne.

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