SCOT is proud to participate in this event every January with the help of the good folks at The Country Squire Restaurant in Kenansville, NC.
This event brings together people from all over Eastern NC, and some traveling down from Virginia each year to enjoy the celebration. What started off as a small family gathering now has an attendance of 130-160 each year. Members of SCOT are kept up-to-date with all that is happening and receive the discounts and privileges that are part of the membership.
Who was Robert Burns and why all the fuss? Robert Burns (1759-1796) is one of the most famous characters in Scottish cultural history. His importance is immense, not only in terms of his fascinating story and his work…but as a living tradition, carried from generation to generation throughout the World. Everyone, everywhere, who joins in the celebration of Scotland, Scottish Heritage or Scottish Culture, will witness references to Robert Burns.
Most people would describe Burns as one of the worlds greatest Poets, but this description does not serve him well. He was much more than a great poet; he was also a prolific songwriter and a great visionary many years ahead of his time.
Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759 in the tiny village of Alloway, Ayrshire, near the town of Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland.
His father, William, was an extremely poor man and in 1750 had moved to the area in search of work, which he found at a local market garden.
William Burns was later granted a tenancy or lease over a small area of farmland which he worked whilst continuing in his position as Head Gardener at the market garden. He met and married Agnes Brown a local girl, and built a small cottage at the farm.
The cottage, now renamed “Burns Cottage,” still stands to this day and is a key focal point for Burns lovers, tourists and visitors from all over the world.
Robert Burns, now often referred to as “Rabbie,” was born in this sparse little cottage, the eldest son of a poor peasant farmer. Life was extremely harsh and the farm was not succeeding. Even as a small child he was to work long hours with his father, and many evenings were spent huddled round the fire listening to his mother’s stories and his father reading from the Bible.
Burns’ poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect, are considered by many to be one of the greatest poetry collections ever written. Their appeal was obvious not only to the educated, but more importantly, to the common man just like Burns himself.
This son of a poor farmer, a country boy, captured the imagination of all who knew him and studied his work; he truly was a genius.
Some time after his death, some of his close friends decided to honor his memory by holding a gathering in his name and the first recorded Burns celebration was in July 1801, the anniversary of his death. Later on this would be celebrated on the Anniversary of his birth, 25th January, and would become what is now known as the “Burns Supper.”
This celebration quickly became very popular, and with Scots having traveled to every corner of the Globe, it was not long before this annual event became the highlight of the year for Scots and Burns lovers around the World.
With that brief history of Robert Burns, No Scottish organization would be complete without celebrating the life and times of Scotland’s National Bard.
The Robert Burns World Federation is a great resource for learning more about Robert Burns and find out how his memory is still being honored today.