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Burns Night dos and don'ts

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 25 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:311
  1. James Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Leeds

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    Today, 25 January, is the anniversary of Robert Burns's birth. You may be feeling apprehensive because a Scottish colleague has invited you to a Burns Supper. Here, just in time, is your non-Scotspersons' guide to Caledonian etiquette.

    Do accept the invitation. You will enjoy yourself. In southern Britain formal dinners are expected to be boring but in the north people go to be entertained. Burns Night comes along just as the Scots regain their taste for gracious living after the New Year hangover.

    Don't expect to be home before midnight. The great northern festivals–St Andrew's Night, Hogmanay, and Burns …

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