Burns Night celebrations

Event, Grants
25 January 2024

As January unfolds, people around the world prepare to embrace the timeless celebrations of Burns Night. This event celebrates the life and works of Scotland’s National poet, Robert Burns. It originated in the early 19th century when a group of Burns’ friends organised a dinner to commemorate his life and works.

The night is marked by many with a Supper, where participants enjoy a traditional Scottish meal, including haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes). The evening usually features toasts, recitations of Burns’ poetry, and the singing of songs. The RNRMC has provided funding for several Burns Night festivities this year and we are looking forward to hearing about them all.

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One of Robert Burns’ song, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ that is often sang during the Burns Night celebrations is associated with departure and separation. Capturing the emotions experienced by those leaving for long journeys, this song allows for commemoration and acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by those who serve and their loved ones. Burns wrote this poignant piece for a woman called Agnes McLehose, a woman he had a romantic relationship with. We’ve included an excerpt below.


“Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;

Ae fareweel, alas, forever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,

Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.”


The RNRMC are delighted to contribute to cultural celebrations and traditions like Burns Night for our Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel and their families, past, present and future.