This year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. Also known as Rabbie Burns, the Ploughman Poet, and in Scotland simply as 'The Bard', Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide.
In his poems, Burns addressed class inequalities, gender roles, poverty and Scottish patriotism. He inspired pioneers of liberalism and socialism, and had a great influence on Scottish literature.
Born in South Ayshire and raised in a poor family of farmers, he was nonetheless educated at the insistence of his father who employed the services of a local teacher. He wrote his first poem aged 15 inspired by his first love Nelly Patrick. Burns went on to compose hundreds of songs and poems including A Red, Red Rose and Address to a Haggis.
The first Burns Night was held by his close friends in 1801, five years after his death at the tender age of 37. The tradition has continued for over 200 years with Burns Night celebrations taking place around the world on 25th January. The Suppers traditionally include haggis, whisky, the reading of works by and about the Bard and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.