Scotland marks the bicentenary of its favorite bard's death


Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns, died 200 years ago on July 21 at the age of 37. To commemorate the bicentenary of his death, events have been planned throughout Scotland.

Among them is an exhibition called "Pride and Passion," which will run through Sept. 15 at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Songs and audiovisual material complement manuscripts, paintings and objects to present a full picture of a life that embraced farming, traveling, Freemasonry and romance as well as poetry. A highlight will be the original manuscript of the poem "Tam O'Shanter." The museum, on Chambers Street, is open daily. Information: (0131) 225 7534. Admission is about $4.

At the Burns National Heritage Park in Alloway, site of the poet's birthplace, 35 miles south of Glasgow, there will be pipe bands and brass bands and Scottish country dancing in the gardens of the Tam O'Shanter Experience Sundays at 3 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. throughout July and August. Admission to the gardens is free, but for visitors who wish to see the Burns cottage and museum and the multimedia presentation of Burns' narrative poem "Tam O'Shanter," admission is 4.25 pounds. Information: (01292) 443700.

A week of events will be held in Dumfries, 70 miles south of Glasgow, including traditional Scottish music and dancing July 16, an 18th-century street fair July 20 and a service July 21, the day Burns died, at 11 a.m. at St. Michaels church, where he was buried. A procession and ceremony follows, re-creating the one that took place on the 100th anniversary of the poet's death.

For a schedule of events and tickets, contact the Burns International Festival, Ayrshire and Arran Tourist Board, Burns House, Burns Statue Square, Ayr, KA7 1UP; telephone (44-1292) 288080, fax (44-1292) 288686.

Pub Date: 6/16/96

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