Homecoming Scotland 2009

It has been estimated that for every Scot living in their home country, there are at least five others living elsewhere in the world that can lay claim to having Scottish ancestry. If you are among these, Homecoming Scotland 2009, a year-long program of spectacular events taking place throughout Scotland, offers the perfect opportunity to explore your roots. If you don’t have Scottish ancestry, but would like to find out more about Scotland and its people, there could be no better time to do this than during Homecoming Scotland 2009.

Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations are in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns – one of the most famous individuals in Scottish cultural history who is inextricably linked with all things Scottish, both in Scotland and beyond its borders. In addition to honoring “Scotland’s Favorite Son”, a series of events will celebrate some of the noteworthy contributions made by Scotland to the world, such as whisky and golf, as well as celebrating the country’s unique and rich ancestry, history and culture. Homecoming Scotland 2009 will also pay its respects to Scots who have done their country proud by being in the forefront of innovation in many fields, the most newsworthy, but not necessarily the most noteworthy, being Dolly the cloned sheep.

Events to look forward to include The Gathering 2009, Scotland’s largest ever Highland Games, set to take place in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on 25-26 July. All are invited to witness athletes push themselves to the limit in an effort to win the prestigious 2009 World Highland Games Heavy Events. The program for The Gathering 2009 includes pipers, Highland dancers, arts and crafts, local food and drink, while the numerous clan tents will provide insight into clan ancestry. The highlight of The Gathering 2009 will no doubt be the colorful Clan Parade along the Royal Mile, ending off with an entertaining Historic Pageant on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle.

Border Scots throughout the world are invited to Return to the Ridings, a series of events across Scotland’s Border towns between May and September 2009. Common Riding is a highlight of Return to the Ridings, which sees hundreds of riders from Hawick, Selkirk, Galashiels, Peebles, Kelso, Duns, Jedburgh, Melrose, Coldstream, Lauder and West Linton in the Scottish Borders head out on horseback to the Common Land to check the boundaries in a historic, traditional ceremony. Riders return to a warm welcome in the town where celebrations include traditional food, music and song, on-foot processions through the streets and much more.

Other events on the program for Homecoming Scotland 2009, include the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival to take place in Glasgow on 12-29 March, featuring Rob Brydon, Ross Noble, Jimmy Carr and other popular comedians, as well as traditional Burns Supper Celebrations. So whether you are Scots, of Scottish descent, or have had a yearning to visit this ancient and noble land, start making plans to join in the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations.