ROBERT Burns is known worldwide as Scotland’s most famous poet, and people continue to celebrate his life and works today.
But what did he write, and why do people celebrate Burns Night? Here’s what we know…
Getty – Contributor Robert Burns is Scotland’s best known poet
Who was Robert Burns and when did he die?
Also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire or the Ploughman Poet, Robert is the world’s best known Scots poet – and was an outspoken political commentator.
He also wrote in English and was known as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, as well as an inspiration for the founders of liberalism and socialism.
A symbol of national pride, Robert was voted as the greatest Scot ever by members of the public in 2009, in a national poll run by Scotland’s STV.
He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, in January 1959 – and passed away in Dumfries on July 21, 1796, at the age of 37.
Getty Images – Getty The bard was voted the greatest Scot ever in a national poll in 2009
It’s thought that he had a long-term rheumatic heart condition, which is caused by the fever of the same name – and starts with a strep throat.
What are Robert Burns’ most famous poems?
Robert penned dozens of famous sonnets and poems, including:
- Auld Lang Syne (the well-known New Year’s/Hogmany song)
- A Red, Red Rose
- A Fond Kiss
- A Man’s A Man For A’ That
- A Winter Night
- To A Mouse
- My Heart’s In The Highlands
- Address To A Haggis
You can find the words to these poems, and a full list of his works, here.
Alamy Burns Night traditions include eating haggis, drinking Scotch whiskey and playing the bagpipes
Why do we celebrate Burns Night?
The traditional Burns supper is a celebration of Robert’s life and poetry.
Burns Night is celebrated on his birthday, January 25, which this year falls on a Thursday.
The first supper was held at Burns Cottage, the bard’s family home, on July 21, 1801 – the fifth anniversary of his death.
It soon became a regular thing, and has been held on his birthday since 1803.