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Burns Night is a celebration of the life and work of Robert Burns that is generally held around his birthday: January 25. The first suppers were held at the end of the 18th century by Burns’ friends on the anniversary of his death, July 21. The first Burns club was founded in 1801 and included members that knew Burns. The club held their first Burns Night the next year on January 29, 1802 and since 1803 have been holding these nights on his birthday: January 25. Burns Night typically include: haggis; a reading of Burns’ Address to a Haggis, which celebrates the Scottish dish; Scotch whiskey, readings of Burns’ poetry, and dancing. The Shanghai Scots held their official first Burns Night in Shanghai in decades at the Marriott City Centre.

About Robert Burns

Robert Burns (Jan. 25, 1759-July 21, 1796) is a Scottish poet who was chosen as the greatest Scot in a 2009 public vote run by the Scottish television channel STV. He is regarded as Scotland’s national poet and is considered a pioneer of the Romantic literature movement. His work was an inspiration to the founders of liberalism and socialism. In addition to his original work, Burns documented native Scottish folk songs often adapting them. His most well-known work is Auld Lang Syne which is a New Years staple.

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