The Scottish poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire on the 25th of January 1759. The anniversary of his birth is now only a few days away, so people in Scotland and throughout the world are preparing to celebrate his life and works.
Arguably one of Scotland's most famous sons, he is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, with his poetic and lyrical legacy deeply rooted in Scottish culture. As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. Well known works include "Auld Lang Syne", "A Man's A Man For A' That", "Scots Wha Hae" and many more.
The holding of a "Burns Supper" to celebrate his life and contribution to Scottish culture has become an annual tradition in Scotland and other countries with strong Scottish cultural connections, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.
It is thought the first Burns Supper was in Greenock in 1801, celebrated by a group of merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. The Supper follows a fairly simple format, typically with traditional Scottish music and dance, a dinner, the presentation of a haggis, and the recitation of works of Burns.
Burns Suppers are a great way for those with Scots heritage to get in touch with their Scottish culture. If you are interested in attending one, contact your local Caledonian Society, Scottish Society, or Scottish cultural organisation to see if one is being held nearby – or try organising one for yourself and your friends!
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