SCOTLAND’S First Minister is wishing everyone a “fantastic Burns Night” as people around the world celebrate the country’s national bard.
Burns suppers will be held across the globe on January 25 as enthusiasts mark the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns in Ayrshire in 1759.
Other events in Scotland include the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries, an 11 day festival of music, theatre and comedy and the Big Burns Stramash in Inverness on January 25 and 27.
In Edinburgh the new Burns Unbroke multi-arts festival at Summerhall will run for six weeks featuring work inspired by Robert Burns.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We’re very proud in Scotland that Burns Night is celebrated every year in towns and cities right around the world – from New Zealand to Norway and from Mexico to Malawi.”
She added: “I always think it’s remarkable and admirable that Scotland’s most celebrated national figure isn’t a politician, a soldier, or a king or queen, but is instead a writer – someone whose songs and poems have enriched millions of people’s lives.
“I think that says something about the continuing importance of culture in our lives. And of course it also highlights the enduring value of Burns’ work – the way his sympathy, humour and passion still speak profoundly to us today.
“For those qualities, and many more, Burns will be remembered and celebrated, ’till a the seas gang dry’.
“So wherever you are, in Scotland or around the world, I hope you have a fantastic Burns Night. And I hope you’ll join me in taking time to toast the immortal memory of the great Rabbie Burns.”
Also in Edinburgh letters from Burns’ boss, together with a rare document in the poet’s own hand writing, have gone on show at General Register House as part of a free exhibition titled Robert Burns: Radical Exciseman – which runs from Burns Night through to February 23.
Scotland’s International Development Minister Dr Alasdair Allan said: “As one of Scotland’s national heroes, Burns is also one of our most treasured cultural exports.
“It is no wonder his legacy is remembered with affection every year by millions of people, both at home and around the globe.
“The events and activities on and around Burns Night are a boost to our economy, with Scots and Scots-at-heart coming together to celebrate a shared love for our national bard.”
He urged anyone participating in a Burns Supper to tag their social media posts with #CheerstoRabbie.
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