Robert Burns was born 254 years ago and he is one of most iconic and famous Scots whose work is known across the world.
Burns Night is celebrated every year on Robert Burns birthday, 25th January. People across Scotland gather to celebrate the great poet's work and Scottish culture.
People eat haggis, go to ceilidhs to dance, listen to traditional Scottish music and wear tartan. Pipers are also in very high demand at this time of the year too!
Who was Robert Burns?
• Born on 25th January 1759 in Alloway, two miles south of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Robert Burns was popular across Scotland for his poems and storytelling.
• Many of his poems become embedded within Scottish culture and are remembered over 200 years after his death.
• Burns was born to William Burness, a poor tenant farmer and Agnes Broun in Alloway, South Ayrshire and was expected to be a farmer.
• He started writing at the age of 15, with his first poem My Handsome Nellabout the subjects he loved most, whisky and women!
• He was a controversial figure at the time for having several illegitimate children (children that were born when the parents were not married), and his relationships with different women (he later married a woman called Jean Armour but had earlier planned to run away to the West Indies with his lover Mary Campbell before she died).
• In his mid twenties, he gained recognition for poems such as To a Mouse, To a Louse and The Cotters Saturday Night.
• He travelled through Scotland before settling in Edinburgh, becoming friends with a number of artists and writers. In the next few years he became a national hero after producing masterpieces such as Tam O’Shanter and A Red, Red Rose.
• Burns was very proud of being Scottish and very patriotic. As he got older he began to write more patriotic anthems such as Scots Wha Hae.
• He died at the age of 37 in Dumfries.
Burns Night celebrations in Scotland
There are lots of Burns Nights Events happening on Friday 25th January across Scotland.
If you are based in Glasgow, why not take in some events at the Celtic Connections festival? The festival showcases upcoming and established Scottish, Celtic and international music artists and they know how to celebrate Burns Night!
Looking for opportunities throughout Scotland? Young Scot WOW has plenty of opportunities for you to get involved with.
Big Burns Supper is Dumfries’s newest festival of contemporary arts, providing a platform and showcase for quality production and artistic ambition throughout Dumfries, centred on Burns Night Celebrations, creating a massive community wide event for visitors and locals alike. For more information click here.
Meanwhile, in Inverness there is A Haggis Lich Nicht, where there will be celebration of The Bard’s poetry and songs and the rounding up of the Haggis, which will lead you, the audience, from the streets of the Highland capital to the seats of Eden Court’s OneTouch Theatre for a finale performance to remember!
Want to learn more about Robert Burns, his life story and his poems, then visit the Robert Burns section of the BBC Arts websites.