23 March 2017
A 10-day festival of music, theatre and comedy dubbed the world’s biggest Burns Night celebration is getting under way in Dumfries.
The sixth edition of the Big Burns Supper runs until 29 January.
Lulu will help kick off proceedings at the Easterbrook Hall on Friday night with Nicola Benedetti, King Creosote and many other acts to follow.
A Burns Night Carnival is also planned for Sunday which will see thousands of people take to the streets.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Charlie Landsborough, Seth Lakeman and Hackney Colliery Band are other acts involved this year.
Eddi Reader, Sean Hughes, the Peatbog Faeries, Emily Smith, Paul Foot and Dervish are also taking part.
The festival sees the return of the Le Haggis cabaret show which is now in its fourth edition.
Earlier this year, the festival announced a venue switch to the Crichton site with the end of the use of the Spiegeltent in Dumfries town centre.
Organisers have said the programme will hopefully offer “something for everybody”.
23 March 2017
A BORDERS schoolgirl has performed an Address to a Haggis for Burns lovers around the world.
Jemima Bevan was given the honour of performing at the official launch of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries which was streamed live around the world via the Scottish Government’s social media channels.
With thousands tuning in, the live supper provided a unique chance to bring people together around the world before they take part in their own special celebrations.
And taking a starring role was 12-year-old Jemima from Duns.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop was amongst the audience.
She said: “Robert Burns is recognised and commemorated the world over, and has become such an important cultural figure over 200 years after his death.
“He continues to touch people’s lives with his prose, works and songs, and marking his birthday today is the perfect opportunity for us to come together as a nation to celebrate this, and moreover our rich heritage, culture and creativity.”
A series of events and festivals have been taking place up and down the country as part of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, capturing the spirit of Burns and reflecting the quality and diversity of Scottish culture.
With many events running until the end of January, from the Big Burns Birthday Bash in Burns Cottage in Alloway, a Night at the Museum in The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow to ‘Jamaica Sings Robert Burns’ at the Bemis Celebrates Burns event part of Celtic Connections in Glasgow, all are designed to showcase Scotland’s affection for our best loved poet.
Outside of Scotland, celebrations for Robert Burns’ birthday are held annually on an international level, with Burns suppers, ceilidh dancing, poetry and storytelling taking place across the globe, demonstrating the far-reaching affection for our much-loved poet.
The full events programme is available on scotland.org/burns along with a sharable video, a digital Scotland’s Winter Festivals ‘A Beginners’ Guide’, and a wealth of recipes and tips to help people from Scotland and oversees plan their own unique way of celebrating Burns Night and experience the very best of Scotland.
23 March 2017
Forget Pokemon Go – the Bard’s birthday has sparked a whole new craze in Dumfries.
Sixteen shops in the town have hidden “cheeky haggis” characters in their shop windows.
And just one of them holds the key to the disappearance of a ukulele from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s dressing room.
CCTV footage shows a haggis is behind the crime but it’s up to residents to find out which one and where he is hiding.
The free Big Burns Supper Haggis Hunt is the brainchild of 17-year-old Megan Milligan of Dumfries High School.
An associate artist for the Electric Theatre Workshop, Megan created all the “native” haggis and one “foreigner” herself and persuaded the shopkeepers to join in the fun.
And there has been no problem in getting Doonhamers and visitors to download a haggis hunt clue list from the BBS website this week. There are directions, clues, activities and tasks.
Megan said: “It is brilliant to see so many people joining in the haggis hunt. It is much more physical and local to Burns and Dumfries than Pokemon Go!
“We are asking people to take pictures of themselves as they take on the challenge, which they can send to the haggis hunt or BBS Facebook pages, and make a note of how long it has taken them. We want to see who is the fastest.”
The haggis hunt runs all this week and over the weekend.