By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I managed to celebrate Robbie Burns Day back in January and am wondering if there are any other events planned this year for this great poet.

A: Scotland is piping in a year-round party this year titled Homecoming 2009. Taking inspiration from the celebrated poet Robert Burns whose birthday occurred 250 years ago, Scotland is rolling out the red carpet for over 200 events planned throughout the year. While you got in the cheer back in January for the internationally celebrated Robert Burns Day, be sure to visit, a web site created by the Scottish government that details all the events related to Robert Burns as well as other Scottish icons.

In addition to Robert Burns, Homecoming Scotland events are also celebrating some of the other great contributions Scotland has given the world – golf, whisky, great Scottish minds and innovations, and as the ancestral home to millions of people around the world.

“Homecoming Scotland will engage Scots at home as well as motivate people of Scottish descent and those who simply love Scotland, to take part in an inspirational celebration of our culture, heritage and some of the many great contributions Scotland has given to the world,” said Marie Christie, director of Homecoming Scotland 2009.

As part of the Year of Homecoming 2009, The Mitchell Library in Glasgow will stage a major exhibition called ‘Inspired’ ( ) celebrating the life and work of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. ‘Inspired’ will be on display in the Main Hall at The Mitchell from 4 April – 20 September 2009. Around 50 contemporary artists, representing not only the UK, but also Russia, Israel, Australia, Japan and the USA will be showcased.

The contemporary work will be presented alongside a small collection of previously unseen relics. The exhibition represents a fascinating and unprecedented way to convey the influence and relevance of Robert Burns’ work in the present day.


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