Lockdown Big Burns Supper honours Scotland's bard

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBurns suppers are traditionally held around the world to celebrate the poet

An online celebration of Scotland's national bard Robert Burns has been held to mark his birth more than 260 years ago.

The Big Burns Supper festival is usually held at various venues across Dumfries.

However, its 10th edition - hosted by comedian Janey Godley - was a virtual one.

Burns suppers are traditionally held around the world on 25 January to celebrate the Ayrshire-born poet.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionJaney Godley is hosting the 10th edition of the Big Burns Supper

Organisers of the Dumfries festival set up a special free online broadcast featuring KT Tunstall, Dougie Maclean and Donovan.

They said it would celebrate Robert Burns but give everyone a "much-needed lift and a laugh".

Last year's festival was able to take place as normal as it was a couple of months before coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

This year it was entirely online but with the hope that audiences can return in 2022.

image copyrightFCDO
image captionFCDO staff like Keith Allan will be celebrating Robert Burns

Elsewhere, employees at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's headquarters in East Kilbride organised a huge online meeting to toast the bard.

Scots working for the UK government in countries including Bahrain, Chile, China, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Peru, Tunisia, and Turkey were among those participating in the virtual event.

Foreign Office Minister Wendy Morton said: "Scots are at the very heart of helping FCDO be a force for good around the world and staff were keen to pay tribute to Robert Burns despite Covid-19.

"Lockdown restrictions might mean that the many Burns suppers our embassies usually organise around the world to help showcase Scotland cannot happen this year, but that isn't stopping us from celebrating."

image copyrightMartin Caldwell/Strava/ESOC
image captionEdinburgh Southern Orienteering Club has been celebrating Burns too
image copyrightCalum Roberston/Strava/ESOC

The Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC) has also been getting into the spirit in an unusual fashion.

Members have created Strava art - using the exercise and route sharing app - to celebrate Burns.

Among their works have been a Tam O'Shanter, Burns House, a haggis and an interpretation of To A Mouse.

Edinburgh-based Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland at the Scottish Storytelling Centre also staged an online event.

Poems, stories, songs and music devised by storyteller, author and presenter David Campbell were being offered as an alternative to the formal Burns supper format.

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