Pick from a range of interesting facts and detailed information about Scotland and the Scottish people.
Scotland is known the world over as a place of history and heritage as well as cutting edge art and culture
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Key information on the practical aspects of moving to Scotland and where to get advice. Plus read about the experiences of people who have moved to Scotland from all over the world.
Scotland is renowned across the globe for its rich culture and heritage, and its contribution to the world past and present. From its thriving contemporary arts and music scene to its achievements in industry, medicine, science, law and literature, Scotland's story is one of immense achievement
There aren’t many Scots who can claim such international recognition as Scotland’s most famous poet Robert Burns. Today tributes to the bard abound on the date of his birth, the 25th of January, known as Burns Night. Readings of his renowned poetry and the meal Burns supper form the centerpiece of a ritual celebrated worldwide
Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, is loved the world over as the bard of freedom, liberty and the common good of humankind. So it comes as a great shock to many that he once accepted a job to help manage a slave plantation in the West Indies. What is the real story here? How could our Burns, the people’s poet, look to become an instrument in what many now call ‘The Black Holocaust’?
At New Year, on St Andrews Night and on Burns Night, Auld Lang Syne Burns famous song of friendship unfailingly rounds off the celebrations in homes, village halls, ballrooms and at street parties around the world. Unfailingly because there isnt another song, with its attendant ritual of linking arms and sashaying back and forth en masse, quite like it.
It could be argued that, for Burns, the lassies tended to be a fatal attraction. However, the legacy is in a canon of love poetry that spans the range of emotions from celebration of physical intimacy, through the pain of loss and separation, to the celebration of enduring friendship. From the joys of a romp-in-the-hay to the dizzy heights and strains of Platonic love, from the complications of divided loyalties to the lament at fate's cruel twists, Burns travelled far and wide in the realm of the heart during his brief lifetime.
As William Shakespeare is Englands national bard so Robert Burns is Scotlands. And over 250 years after he was born into a poor Ayrshire farming family the universal appeal of many of his poems and songs endures.
"When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neebors, neebors meet; As market-days are wearing late, An folk begin to tak the gate; While we sit bousing at the nappy, An getting fou and unco happy" Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns
At some time during the mid 1820s, after his pioneer family had crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky to southern Indiana, the teen-aged Lincoln stumbled across a collection of Burns poetry.
A mainstay of Burns Suppers, the Immortal Memory celebrates Burns' enduring spirit. It's a fitting tribute for one who himself did so much to preserve and popularise Scotland's rich historical, cultural and literary heritage.
This Burns Night, as you clear your throat before launching into a well-practiced rendition of Tam O'Shanter or 'Holy Willie's Prayer', be sure to mind your Ps and Qs, or should that be your Rs and CHs?
What is it about Robert Burns? Not even Shakespeare is remembered so personally with an annual birthday celebration. It is in the spirit of the lasting inspiration of Scotlands National Poet that we invite you to celebrate Burns Night.