Happy Burns Day: 5 Things to know about this Scottish Celebration

Scottish people all over the globe will be celebrating today. Why? It’s the day when, 259 years ago, on 25 January, Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet was born. Whether you live in Edinburgh, New York or Canada, if you have Scottish blood in your veins, you’ll be donning your kilt and cooking up a haggis.

1 Who was Robert Burns?

He was born in a small town in the west of Scotland in 1759, the son of a farmer. He began writing while as a young boy. His first poems were love poems dedicated to local girls. He was a very amorous fellow!

2 Why is Burns still so popular today?

Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns is recognised the world over because his work focuses on universal themes like love and nature, as important today as it was in the 18th Century.  He writes in the language of everyday life. His poems are humorous using small subjects to express big ideas.

Auld Lang Syne

We are all familiar with this song, sung all over the world to celebrate New Year. Not so many people know that it was written by Burns and set to folk music. It actually means ‘long, long ago’ or ‘days gone by’.

How do we celebrate Burns?

Typically, people eat Haggis, a traditional dish made from the stomach of a sheep which is stuffed with oatmeal, onion and spices. Before the dish is served someone will “address the Haggis”, with a very respectful verse spoken in Scots Language.

 

Is his poetry easy to understand?

Burns wrote in Scots which was not so popular in literary circles of his time. However his work has helped to keep the language alive and many of words he used are still in everyday usage in Scotland today.

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