Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796), is revered and celebrated in his native country and around the world. Burns Night began in 1801, five years after Burns’ death, and has continued enthusiastically ever since.
This devotion to Burns’ memory is especially evident in New England, where generations of Scots and Scots-Irish have settled over the past 400 years.
To honor his birthday each year, New Englanders celebrate with traditional Scottish music and song, poetry and toasts and cuisine and congeniality. Here is a selection of Robert Burns celebrations that take place in 2020, compiled by the Boston Irish Tourism Association.
The Burren Pub
247 Elm Street, Davis Square, Somerville
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
99 Erdman Way, Leominister
Celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns, this event features music by popular Scottish singer Charlie Zahm with special guests the Scots Highland Pipes and Drums, plus Katriona and Calum Bell. The meal features a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings ad haggis. The event is hosted by Class Act Imports and proceeds benefit Friends Never Forget and Operation Camp.
9 Chestnut Street, Salem
Seated Supper, Open Bar, Poetry, Scottish Dancing, Scotch Whisky Tasting with Brand Ambassadors and Experts. Also, enter to win a free trip to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, provided by the National Trust for Scotland.
321 Main Street, Worcester
A night of piping, poetry and Scottish ceilidh music with Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band. Dinner includes roast beef and chicken picatta.
2 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston
The Haven’s Burns Night includes a three-course meal of haggis, cullen skink, and more (with vegetarian options available), a single malt scotch toast, songs and poetry. Piper Elias Alexander entertains with Scottish music, and there is an address to the Haggis and a toast to the ladies.
Derryfield Country Club
Hosted by the New England Scottish Arts Center and New Hampshire Pipes and Drums, the night features Burns poetry, haggis, Scottish music, ceilidh dancing.
February 7 & 8
Marblehead Little Theatre
12 School Street, Marblehead
A romantic and rousing concert celebrating Scotland’s Robert Burns, musicians include piper, singer and fiddler Elias Alexander, singer Julianne Gearhart and pianist Neil Pearlman, with narration by BBC’s Rhod Sharp.
Read about the statue to Robert Burns in downtown Boston.
Find out more about Irish and Scottish cultural activities in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.