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This is a message from the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies. It is being sent to more than 2,000 addresses, including international Scottish societies, ceilidh bands, arts groups, social groups, sports clubs, publics institutions, museums, schools, universities, parishes, whisky societies, communities, masonic lodges, charities, trade associations, and businesses which hosted Burns suppers or Burns Nights in recent years.

To invite you  to participate in a unique, virtual, and global celebration of Burns Night in the coming weeks.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of events around the world —including Burns suppers— are likely to be cancelled or limited this winter. Yet this does not mean Burns Night 2021 has to become a non-event. In fact, we’d like to offer you a unique way to cheer away the gloom whilst sharing Burns’s message of universal love and friendship.

Whatever you do around Burns Night —whether you attend a Burns supper or must stay confined at home with a ‘dram’ of whisky and a plate of haggis— we’re inviting you to share at least one picture of your night on social media using the hashtag #VirtualBurnsNight. This can be a picture of your meal, of your dress, of a Burns performance, of your family or anything that fits the Burns Night theme. Should you not have access to social media, feel free to email us your picture at arts-burnssupper@glasgow.ac.uk and we will post it for you.

Sharing one picture only takes a few seconds and yet, if enough of us participate, we might just turn this year’s Burns Night into an unprecedented, online, and global feast, fighting the pandemic blues whilst celebrating Burns with images of joy from across the seas.

More information about our Centre, our aims, and our project is available so feel free to email us with any additional question. Besides, if despite the pandemic you are planning to host a Burns event this winter —either physically or virtually— please let us know. We’ll soon publish a list of upcoming, international Burns Night celebrations on our website and we’d be delighted to help promote your event.

We look forward to hearing from you and to seeing all your pictures. In the meantime, feel free to spread the word to other people or societies who might like to join our worldwide venture.

With best wishes for the new year,

Dr Paul Malgrati, Research Assistant

Centre for Robert Burns Studies, 7 University Garde​ns University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ Scotland