St. Andrew’s Day

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Hello and hi. St. Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew and is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of:

  • Scotland
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Bulgaria
  • the Ecumencial Patriarhate of Constantinople
  • San Adreas Island, Colombia and
  • Saint Andrew, Barbados

St. Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day. Yay. In 2006 the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday. In addition, Saint Andrew’s Day marks the beginning of the traditional Advent devotion of the St Andrew Christmas Novena.

The celebration of St Andrew as a national festival is thought to originate from the reign of Malcolm III (1034-1093)-he was King of the Scots from 1058-1093 and was nicknamed: Canmore (ceann mòr)-which is Scottish Gaelic for ‘Great Chief.’  As previously mentioned, the Scottish Parliament passed the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007-which designated the day as an official bank holiday. Yes, the Scots have their own Parliament-but please know I do not have the time, will or inclination to wax lyrical on this. But just know that it is a devolved government and really the ‘big Kahuna’ is the UK Parliament in Westminster and Scotland must defer to them (mostly).

Also The University of St Andrews traditionally gives the day-this day-as a free holiday to its students, but this is not a binding rule. In addition, St Andrew’s Day is an official flag day in Scotland. The Scottish Government’s flag-flying regulations state that the Flag of Scotland (the Saltire/Saint Andrew’s Cross) shall fly on all its buildings with a flagpole. Prior to 2002-the Scottish Government followed the UK Government’s flag days and would ONLY fly the Union Flag on St. Andrew’s Day. But the regulations were updated to state that the Union Flag would be removed and replaced by the Saltire on buildings with only one flagpole. I would imagine it was all done properly and nobody got all crazy and painted their faces blue. Kidding. Don’t be mad Scottish people-I was only joking.

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                                                                                                                                              Image: Visit Scotland

Anyway, the flying of the Union Flag from Edinburgh Castle on ALL days (including St Andrew’s Day-does cause a bit of upset among some Scottish National Party policians, who have argued that the Saltire should fly in 30 November instead. Yikes. Baby steps, now, you lot. But the Union Flag is flown by the British Army at the Castle as it is still an official British Army flag flying station.  Pictured below is Edinburgh Castle.

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So in Scotland, and in many countries with a Scottish connection-St Andrew’s Day is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture with traditional Scottish food, music and dance. Also, this day is alos seen as the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals like Hogmanay and Burns Night.

St Andrew’s Day is celebrated as the national day of Independence in Barbados. Woot woot. As the patron saint, Saint Andrew is celebrated in a number of Barbadian symbols including the cross formation of the Barbadian Coat of Arms and the country’s national honours system which styles person as Knight or Dames of St. Andrew.

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Happy St. Andrew’s Day!





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