The City of Culture Office in Guildhall Square will host an afternoon of Ulster Scots Culture on Tuesday afternoon, January 25th, to celebrate Burns Day.
Burns Day commemorates the life and work of the poet and lyricist Robert Burns who was born on January 25, 1759 and is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Celebrations of Burns’ memory are held globally but are particularly prominent in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.
The event at the City of Culture Offices runs from 1.00pm to 5.00 pm on Tuesday afternoon and will be an ideal introduction to Burns for those who are unfamiliar with the poet’s work.
Following a short introduction by renowned Ulster Scots poet and scholar Wilson Burgess, Stuart Buchanan will address and toast the Haggis. Wilson Burgess will then perform “The Immortal Memory” and oration of the life of Burns which will be followed by a Sword Dance, a poetry reading and traditional singing. Along with the entertainment, traditional fare such as Haggis, Neeps and Tatties will be served providing a taste of Scotland.
Wilson Burgess is hopeful that the Burns celebration will increase awareness of the poet’s legacy across a wider audience:
“I think this event will be of interest to everyone from all sides of the community. As Seamus Heaney said ‘Burns’ way of speaking offered asylum to all vernacular speakers who hail from north of a line drawn from Berwick to Bundoran’. ”
James Kee of the Bready and District Ulster Scots Development Association, the Artistic Director of the event said: “We at Bready and District Ulster Scots are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase Burns Day celebrations at the City of Culture Office and looking forward to introducing Burns to a fresh audience,” he said.
Mayor of Derry Colum Eastwood said: “The City of Culture Office is the perfect location for this celebration. Rabbie Burns is an icon of Ulster Scots culture and I think those who pay a visit to Tuesday’s event will find it fascinating, entertaining and informative.”