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Bagpipe player on top of a hill in Scotland

Burns Night Explained for ‘Outlander’ Fans

Outlander fans, especially fans of Sam Heughan, should know that January 25 is Burns Night. Burns Night celebrates Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. On Burns’ birthday, Scots and those who love all things-Scottish, celebrate Burns’ life and works by raising a glass, joining in song and reciting his favorite poems at Burns suppers and readings.

Scots and Scottish-Americans celebrate the date with traditional table-side bagpiping, ‘Address to the Haggis’ (which opens the meal), tasty haggis and whisky, renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” (which was penned by the poet) and much more to pay tribute to the legendary bard.

To capture this worldwide warmth for Burns, fans from across the world are encouraged to take a selfie with a Burns statue or a Burns-related item. After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, there are more Burns statues in the world than of any other non-religious figure.  In fact, next to Scotland, the U.S. has the largest number with fourteen, followed by Canada with seven.  The selfie, or “Burnsie,” can also include a Burns bust, a painting, book of poems, or even a traditional Burns Night supper of haggis, “neeps” (mashed turnips) and “tatties” (mashed potatoes); anything that symbolizes the great poet.

These “Burnsies” will be collated into a massive mosaic image of Robert Burns and will be shared on the About Scotland social media channels and www.scotland.org website on Burns Night on January 25. Robert Burns fans can submit their “Burnsie” until midnight on January 24.  To submit, visit www.scotland.org/burns or upload an image to @AboutScotland on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtag #burnsie.

In addition, the Scottish Government is sharing the work of Robert Burns in two short animations of his best-loved poems. These will be narrated by Scottish actor Sam Heughan, best known for his role in the Golden Globe nominated series Outlander, the popular British-American drama on Starz based on the historical novels by Diana Gabaldon.  Season 2 of the hit show premieres April 2016.  The audio animations will be available on the @AboutScotland social media channels beginning January 20.  To share them, use the hashtags #robertburns and #burnsnight.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Robert Burns’ words are recognized around the world and his poetry, writing and songs continue to be enjoyed by millions. Burns Night is a great opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s Bard and to enjoy Scotland’s poetry, music and wider culture.”



About Burns Night

A traditional Burns Night Supper features haggis, a pudding that traditionally contains sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) mixed with spices and marinated in an animal’s stomach casing. Burns felt that the haggis dish represented his countrymen’s ability to overcome adversity and thus, is a hallmark of the celebration.  Side dishes include “neeps” and “tatties.” While dining, Burns enthusiasts recite the bard’s works. The first suppers were held in Scotland at the end of the eighteenth century by Robert Burns’ friends.

See also: How to Throw a Delicious Burns Night Dinner

The poet, who could claim Michael Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Bob Dylan as fans, penned some of Scotland’s most descriptive and evocative prose. He is accepted around the world for his inspirational and moving writing style in works such as “Tam-o-Shanter,” “To A Mouse,” “A Man’s A Man for a’ That,” and “A Red, Red Rose.”

See also: Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

To celebrate his birthday, here are few fun facts about Robert Burns:

  • J.D. Salinger’s famous 1951 novel Catcher in the Rye based its title from a poem by Robert Burns “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.”
  • Bob Dylan selected Burns’ 1794 song “A Red, Red Rose” when asked for the source of his greatest creative inspiration.
  • John Steinbeck took the title of his 1937 novel Of Mice and Men from a line contained in Burns’ poem “To a Mouse:” “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.”
  • Burns’ Auld Lang Syne is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being one of the top three most popular songs in the English language. The other two are ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow.’
  • A miniature book of Robert Burns’ poetry was carried into orbit by astronaut Nick Patrick on a two-week space mission in 2010, completing a 5.7-million mile trip and 217 orbits of the Earth.
  • Robert Burns produced over 550 songs and poems. That averages at around 25 works for each year of his adult life (Burns passed away at 37).

For more information about Robert Burns, his complete list of works, special Burns Night Supper recipes and more, visit www.scotland.org/burns and follow @AboutScotland for real-time updates on Burns Night events around the world.

Source: Scottish Government

Outlander Gift Guide

‘Outlander’ Shopping Guide

Our Outlander gift guide is here to help newbies and die-hard fans find a wee bit o’ Scotland for their own.

Outlander began as a best-selling book, but now has worldwide acclaim as a TV series on Starz. The story of a WWII nurse who falls through time and marries a Highlander has captured the attention of millions fans, as well as the Foreign Press Association, who nominated Outlander for best TV drama, Caitriona Balfe (Claire) for best actress in a TV drama, and Tobias Menzies (Capt. Jack Randall) for best supporting actor in TV series.

All sorts of fun Outlander merchandise is now available. This Outlander gift guide has only a sample of what you can find at the Outlander official store or on Etsy.

Outlander Coloring Book

Outlander Coloring Book

Coloring books for adults are all the rage right now, because the idea is that spending some time coloring will relieve stress. So why not color some scenes from the Outlander TV series? The book includes pictures of Claire, Jamie and Frank, as well as Craig na Dun.

[button size=small style=round color=green align=none url=https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399177531/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399177531&linkCode=as2&tag=nancymartinsinge&linkId=3569fcba22b06952c5250494dff8031b]Order Coloring Book[/button]

Outlander Daily Calendar

What could be better for an Outlander fan than a little bit of it to discover every day? The 2017 calendar has photos, quotes and trivia to help ye bide until #Droughtlander ends. There’s also a wall calendar with big, beautiful photos of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe.

Je Suis Prest T-shirt

Je Suis Prest T-shirt

The Fraser clan’s motto is “Je suis prest,” or “I am ready.” This t-shirt features not only the motto, but also the family crest. There are dozens of other t-shirts to choose from, too, with various clever sayings and even the Fraser tartan.

[button size=small style=round color=green align=none url=https://www.popmarket.com/collections/outlander/products/je-suis-prest-t-shirtt-shirt]Order T-shirt[/button]

Outlander Pop-up Note Cards

Send your friends and family their own little Jamies and Claires with these fun pop-up note cards. The official store also has tartan note cards, as well as postcards.

Jamie and Claire Bookmarks


How adorable are these Etsy bookmarks of Jamie and Claire? Even if you’re like me and read digital books almost exclusively, they can be used in cookbooks, notebooks and journals.

[button size=small style=round color=green align=none url=http://tidd.ly/beefd3cb]Order Bookmarks[/button]

Outlander Necklace


There are hundreds and hundreds of pieces of jewelry related to Outlander on Etsy. I could easily go broke! This is an example of a gorgeous necklace that’s taken from the context of the books, specifically a dragonfly in amber (the title of the second book).

[button size=small style=round color=green align=none url=http://tidd.ly/7e905a0a ]Order Necklace[/button]

Outlander Fingerless Gloves

Outlander Fingerless Gloves

I love, love, love the fingerless gloves — almost sleeves —  Claire wears on Outlander. Lucky for me, I have a talented cousin who knitted me a pair. (I treasure them!) You can find just about any style and color you want on Etsy, including these cable-knit types.

[button size=small style=round color=green align=none url=http://tidd.ly/15aee445]Order Gloves[/button]

Our Outlander gift guide has only a sample of the wonderful things you can find that display your love of Outlander.

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Check out our Outlander gift guide!

Jamie and Claire in 'The Wedding' on Outlander / Starz

Share an ‘Outlander’ Wedding Quote

I can say, with a fair amount of certainty, that “The Wedding” is the most-watched episode of Outlander. “The Wedding” is a favorite of many Outlander fans, not only for its steamy scenes, but also because it’s the first step Jamie and Claire take on a long journey together.

My favorite quote from that episode is

“It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day and suddenly the same came out.”

Outlander Quote

Feel free to share this moment with other Outlander fans by clicking the social media buttons.


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