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One Chance to Celebrate Burns in Scotland!


2009 marks the 250th birthday of beloved Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Burns spent the majority of his life traveling around Scotland gathering inspiration for much of his poetry, from the stunning Ayrshire scenery to the romantic setting of Dumfries.  The poet and his work had such a strong impact on the country that each year a tribute to his life is still held through the ritual of a “Burns Supper.” Originally created after his death by a group of his friends and acquaintances to honor his memory, the suppers are now celebrated annually around the globe on his birthday, January 25th.

Come visit the birthplace of Burns in 2009, where visitors can participate in an authentic Scottish Burns Night Supper. Extending from January 25, 2009 to November 30, 2009, the countrywide Homecoming Scotland 2009 program will offer a series of activities and festivals celebrating the life of Robert Burns. A complete event listing can be viewed at  Events include:

Burns 250th Anniversary Weekend – January 24-25
Homecoming 2009 officially kicks off on the weekend of Robert Burns’ 250th anniversary with Burns events planned in key locations across Scotland.  Highlights will include the official Burns Night Supper in Ayrshire, the birthplace and home of Burns, which will provide the focal point for a campaign to create the world’s biggest (virtual) Burns Supper Celebration.  

Burns Light – January 25
A vibrant mid-winter festival in Dumfries.  Burns Light promises to be an amazing spectacle, with lantern processions through the old town. Lanterns, large and small, will be inspired by the works of Robert Burns, who spent much of his life in Dumfries and nearby Ellisland.  The lanterns will wind through the historic heart of Dumfries, past Burns’ house, and onto his final resting place at St. Michael’s Church.  The procession ends at the River Nith for live music, a traditional ceilidh and a spectacular fire show, featuring huge Burns inspired with sculptures and fireworks.  
Celtic Connections – January 24-February 1
Honoring the influence of Robert Burns on Scottish Music, the Celtic Connections festival celebrates his legacy with their biggest event to date—Auld Lang Syne at the Clyde Auditorium, featuring an array of renowned artists in a fitting tribute to the great bard.  In a brand new commission, five of Scotland’s exceptional young composers are creating the Homecoming Suite, performed by the RSNO and special guests.  And finally, Bringing it all Back Home will highlight the music and songs of Scotland that traveled with the emigrants, becoming the root of the old-time Americana music scene.  A truly international event with the best of traditional and contemporary music at its core.
Inspired – April – September
Inspired is an exhibition of contemporary art inspired by the life, poetry and songs of Robert Burns, featuring work by a distinguished group of artists from the UK and overseas. The contemporary work will be presented alongside a small collection of previously unseen relics.  The exhibition represents a fascinating and unprecedented way to convey the influence and relevance of Robert Burns’ work in the present day.
Mitchell Library, Glasgow (
To visit during the Homecoming year, Best of Scotland Holidays is offering a Burns Supper Package from January 23-26 (with the option of extending stay). Guests can choose between packages in Glasgow or Edinburgh with rates starting at $499 per person. Both packages include three-nights accommodations (based on double-occupancy), daily breakfast, airport transfers, a hop-on-hop-off city tour, a traditional Burns Supper (with meal and entertainment), and an evening of ceilidh at a local pub or ghost tour (depending on city in which package is booked). For more information visit

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