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Tigh Mor Trossachs

Stirlingshire, Scotland

All you need to know about St. Andrew’s Day

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 18, 2017
All you need to know about St. Andrew’s Day

St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland and the 30th November, now a Bank Holiday in Scotland, marks the country’s national day, and the feast day of the Saint.

Celebrations

In Scotland, and among Scottish cultures, the day is celebrated with traditional festivities, food, music and dance. It’s thought that a festival of some kind has been celebrated since the 11th century, when Malcolm III introduced it. The day serves as a celebration of Scottish culture, so the festivities always tend to be very traditional.

St Andrew’s Day marks the start of a season full of Scottish winter festivals including Hogmanay and Burns night, which are often patriotic affairs, so the time is naturally charged with excitement for the season ahead.

So, why is he so important?

Well, Andrew was actually Andrew the Apostle. He and his brother were originally fishermen, though may be better known as two of the disciples. He is thought to have been born in 5 or 6 BCE and is especially well known for preaching along the Black Sea and many other faraway places. It was as a result of his travels that he came to be the patron saint of a number of countries including Barbados, Romania and Russia. Though he’s been celebrated for much longer, it was actually in the early 14th century that Andrew’s status as a patron saint was first recognised.

The story goes that, following his execution in the 1st century CE, a Greek monk was ordered to carry some relics of Andrew to the ‘ends of the earth’. One of the places was a small settlement, close to the coast of Fife in Scotland. The town became known as St. Andrews; it’s on the east coast and has been known to host week-long festivities for St. Andrew’s Day even now. The relics that were held there were destroyed during the 16th century Reformation, along with the Cathedral that contained them. The impressive cathedral ruins still stand today and prove that it was the largest church to have been built in Scotland.

St. Andrew’s Cross.

Andrew is said to have been martyred on a cross. Unlike the crosses we generally associate with Christianity, this one was diagonally positioned, and is now represented on the Scottish flag. Hence the white X on the Scottish flag being known as the ‘St. Andrew’s Cross’.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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