A Celebration of Everything Scottish

Claudia Fellerman embraces tartan

25 January Burns' Night Hot Toddy Robert Burns Scotland

Burns’ Night, which takes place on or around January 25th, the Scottish poet’s birthday, celebrates the life and works of Robert Burns. At a time when the future of Scotland’s role in the United Kingdom is somewhat in turmoil, let’s celebrate everything Scottish and see how best we can pay homage to Burns on his birthday this year.

The Burns’ Night Formal. The perfect place to show off your Scottish style. I’m sure your college has one, and if not, gatecrash your pals. When I say gatecrash, I obviously mean attend with serenity and decorum.

First step? Kilt up. What could say ‘I love Scotland’ more than a bit of tartan and perhaps even a sexy sporran to finish off the look. Boys, show off how comfortable you are with your sexuality and grab yourselves a skirt, it’s all the fashion on Burns’ Night; just remember getting out a car in a skirt, trickier than it looks, so make sure you’re careful if you decide to go the whole hog and really embrace the lifelong question of ‘what do men wear under their kilts?’

Scottish music is a must for any Burns’ Night celebration. My brain has been well and truly racked, and here’s what I’ve come up with:
The Proclaimers (with accents so strong you can’t actually understand what they’re saying half the time!) – 500 Miles
Biffy Clyro – Mountains
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
KT Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
Lulu – Shout
Annie Lennox – Sisters
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Susan Boyle (if your party has a slightly more depressing tone) – Wild Horses
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
Anything with bagpipes in?

I’m sure that everyone fancies a little beverage or two at the Burns’ Formal, so what should we be drinking to embrace our Scottish neighbours? Well, Scotch. In the words of Ron Burgundy, I love scotch, scotchy scotchy scotch. Well I don’t, but the Scots do. If it’s not exactly your drink of choice, how about a Hot Toddy?

Hot Toddy
1 oz brandy, whiskey or rum
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 lemon
1 cup hot water
1 tea bag
All in a mug…done.

Feeling peckish when you get home? Make sure you’ve stocked up on shortbread, the king of all Scottish snacks. With Tesco Value shortbread at the giveaway price of 29p, you have absolutely no excuse not to join in the festivities. Not a fan of sweet stuff? Maybe haggis is more up your street? With haggis for sale at a slightly pricier £3.22, Tesco can surely supply you with all your Scottish needs. I’m not sure how well it will go down as a post-night out nibble, but whatever floats your boat…

So there you are, some Scottish suggestions to guarantee a truly top-notch Burns’ Night. Embrace something new and get yourself to your college formal for, what is certain to be, a damn good time.