A Burns Night carnival through the streets of Dumfries attracted at least 10,000 spectators and participants.
The parade was lit by at least 3,000 lanterns and spectators lined the streets and the centre of the town where Burns lived.
The procession, which included 6 large main floats, and 432 specially made costumes from 20 community artists, impressed Government Minister Humza Yousaf.
"I came to Dumfries with high expectations, but I was absolutely blown away by this carnival.
"The creativity of the people of Dumfries is absolutely incredible."
The carnival started at 5pm and was led by a huge lantern made in conjunction with Barnado's Scotland, the Big Burns Supper's partner charity.
Organisers were pleased with the event.
"Tonight was just astonishing - I think Rabbie Burns would have been astounded to see so many people turning out for such a huge celebration of his work, his spirit and of Scottish culture"
"The carnival will be spectacular, there will be more than 4,000 people parading through the streets, there will be 2015 lanterns to help celebrate the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light, there will be six bands, six big floats, hundreds of costumes, thousands of people on the streets, it's going to be absolutely spectacular."
The Big Burns Supper Festival got underway in Dumfries last night.
The event is to celebrate Scotland's national bard, Robbie Burns, whose birthday it would be tomorrow.
It is the first time the event has run for nine days in a row.
Dumfries is looking forward to the Burns Supper Carnival, this Sunday. And there's plenty of work going on to make sure everything's ready.Read the full story ›
Preparations are well underway for the Big Burns Carnival in Dumfries this weekend.
Musicians and artists are descending on the town to celebrate Scotland's national bard.
On Sunday hundreds of performers will take to the streets of Dumfries for a torchlit procession.
Final preparations are underway for more than a week of events in Dumfries to celebrate the life and work of Scotland's favourite poet.
Robert Burns spent his final years, and wrote some of his best loved songs and poems, in the town.
A torch-lit carnival through the town's streets will take place on Burns Night on Sunday.
Three new trails celebrating places related to Robert Burns have been launched in Dumfries and Galloway.
The trails visit some of the Bard's most favourite haunts, sites and views where he drew inspiration for much of his work.
Lori Carnochan reports.
As people get ready for their Burns Suppers, thousands are taking part in what has been called the world's biggest Burns Night celebrations in Dumfries. Jenny Longden was there.
The Big Burns Supper kicks off today in Dumfries with three days of events planned.
A variety of venues are involved hosting live music, theatre and burns suppers.
The town is hosting its first Homecoming Carnival with 2000 people expected to take part.
The organisers of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries have been congratulated by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
The annual festival brings Robert Burns to life through concerts, comedy and a community parade through the town. It will feed Burns Suppers - haggis, neeps and tatties - to 5,000 people.
The members' debate at Holyrood was introduced by Joan McAlpine, MSP for the South of Scotland. She said Dumfries, where the Bard lived and died, was the perfect town to host a festival celebrating his life:
"The town is alive with his spirit. And the Big Burns Supper festival, which opens on Friday, takes full advantage of this unique backdrop. On Saturday, the town centre hosts a free Homecoming carnival, for 2,000 people. They will paint the town tartan to the sounds of the Manchester School of Samba, because the Big Burns Supper is nothing if not eclectic on an epic scale.
"The festival, which lasts until Sunday night, brings Burns back into the heart of the community he loved and the hearts of the people who live there."