Robert Burns is rightfully one of Scotland's greatest historical figures but there is actually much more to him than meets the eye. To celebrate Burns Night 2020 here is our list of 10 facts you probably didn't know about Robert Burns!
1 - In China "Auld Lang Syne" is actually a song of friendship and is played at Graduation ceremonies and more formal events. It is known as "You Yi Di Jiu Tian Chang" or "Friendship Forever" and has a more calming and orchestral feel to it than Robert Burns original version.
2 - A book containing excerpts of Burns poetry was taken into space! British/American astronaut Nick Patrick brought the book with him during his two week space trip in 2010 where he travelled over 5 million miles. Enjoying Burns poetry whilst looking at planet Earth must have been very relaxing!
3 - Robert Burns was the first ever person to appear on a special bottle of Coca-Cola. To celebrate his 250th anniversary, Burns featured on special bottles of Coca-Cola in the United Kingdom. Around 1 million bottles were produced by the Coca-Cola company and have now become quite valuable and rare on websites such as eBay.
4 - A number of Robert Burns poems have appeared in various Hollywood films over the years, including "It's a Wonderful Life", "When Harry met Sally" and the critically acclaimed "Forrest Gump". It's a shame Burns wasn't alive to claim any of the royalties made from the use of his work!
5 - Way back in the year 1815 Burns body was removed from his grave to be placed in a museum in Dumfries. A plaster cast was taken of his skull which after much analysis proved to be much larger than the average mans skull. Could it be that Burns had a much larger brain than the average human being?
6 - Speaking of Dumfries it is also possible to visit the Robert Burns Centre to learn more about the famous poet. Right next to the banks of the River Nith the Robert Burns Centre gives more insight into Burns' time in the small market town. The centre holds many original manuscripts and belongings of Burns as well as a to scale model of what Dumfries looked like in the 1790's. In the evenings, the centre even turns into a film theatre!
7 - Burns supposedly fathered at least 13 children to four different women. His wife, Jean Armour, gave birth to nine of his children, but sadly only three of them survived infancy. Burns oldest child, Elizabeth was born after Burns had an affair with his mother’s servant. Burns youngest child, Maxwell was born on the day of his funeral. There are probably many descendants of Robert Burns alive today in Scotland and around the world.
8 - Burns died in 1796 at the tragically young age of only 37. Although the life expectancy was a lot lower back then than it is now this was still a very young age to go out at. It is expected that Burns died from an infection following a tooth extraction, just proving how important it is to take care of your teeth!
9 - Burns was voted as the greatest ever Scot by an STV poll back in 2009. Burns beat out stiff competition from the likes of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Jock Stein and David Tennant. Burns won a similar poll in 2016 with 44% of the votes.
10 - There are more statues dedicated to Burns worldwide than any other historical figure beating even Christoper Columbus and Queen Victoria. These monuments can be found in Scotland, America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and even France.