January, in Scotland always produces unpredictable weather, so it is not easy to plan outdoor events for thousands of people to attend. Only on Thursday the Whitesands in Dumfries was flooded due to a combination of a high tide and torrential rain. Sunday started with more torrential rain, however the skies cleared towards afternoon. Sighs of relief were audible!
To mark the the 250th Anniversary of Rabbie Burns birth, there were lantern processions starting from various points in the town with all ending at the Whitesands, where there were various bands playing. I live in a small village about 5 miles out of town, and the music could be heard here!
Robert Burns is Scotland's National Poet, and his most famous work is "Auld Lang Syne" which is sung all over the world especially at New Year Celebrations. The poet is buried in Dumfries.
The Health and Safety Gurus had done their usual wonderful job of ruining most things for everyone, as real candles were not allowed in the lanterns, light sticks having to be used instead, which somewhat defeated the point of a lantern procession.
The Celebrations culminated in the burning of a wicker creation of Tam O' Shanter and his horse Meg, which was moored on a raft in front of Devorgilla Bridge on the river Nith. The best view of this would have been had if one had been able to stand on the bridge, however ......yes, you've guessed....... Health & Safety would not permit anyone on the bridge!
10,000 people were expected, and the Event proved to be a great success.
It also marked the start of the Homecoming 2009 Year of Celebrations throughout Scotland, when expat Scots are invited to return Home for a visit.