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Burns Season is approaching!

13 January 2014

Burns Night has been part of Scottish and Ulster-Scots culture for around 200 years as a means of commemorating the much-loved bard, who holds a special place in the hearts of the Ulster-Scots.

Join us in celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns at one of the many events that will take place over the coming weeks.


On Saturday 25th January acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader will join the Ulster Orchestra and Ulster-Scots Agency for a Burns Night Celebration at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast (19.45).  The concert will bring together musicians from the Ulster-Scots and Classical traditions for this one-night Burns spectacular.  For information and tickets visit


Community and voluntary groups and a number of other organisations will also be hosting Burns celebrations in the run up to and following Burns’ birthday - visit for full details.


Burns printed in Belfast 1787

Such was the impact of Burns in Ulster that the first edition of his poetry printed outside of Scotland was in Belfast.  The Edinburgh edition appeared in 1787, and James Magee of Bridge Street, Belfast reprinted and republished it in the same year.


Burns celebrated in Belfast 1844

In August 1844 Burns’ son Robert visited Belfast, where his recently-widowed daugher Elizabeth Everitt (1812-1878) lived.  An evening celebration was held at the Burns Tavern in Long Lane.  In September Robert Burns Jr was guest of honour at a civic breakfast in the Donegall Arms Hotel, where the Belfast News Letter reported the audience ‘included men of all religious and political classes... all associated together with the utmost cordiality’.


Burns centenary in Belfast 1859

The centenary of the poet’s birth was widely celebrated in Ulster.  An oil painting of Burns was commissioned in Belfast and presented to Eliza Burns, the daughter of Robert’s eldest son, who married a Dr Everitt and came to live in Belfast’s York Street.


Burns Club founded in Belfast 1872

This was the first Burns Club formed in Ulster and it survives to this day as the Belfast Burns Association.