Published On: Sat, Nov 30th, 2019

St Andrew’s Day greetings and wishes – Why do we celebrate St Andrew’s Day?


November 30 is St Andrew’s Day, and is Scotland’s official national day, as well as being a national holiday in Romania. It is also a bank holiday in Scotland, and as it falls on a Saturday this year – the following Monday, December 2 will be a bank holiday instead.

But why do we celebrate St Andrew’s Day?

St Andrew’s Day is commemorated as a celebration of Scottish culture and traditions, in particular, food and music.

One traditional food is cullen skink – a type of fish soup. Lamb is also a popular food during St Andrew’s Day celebrations.

It is also seen as marking the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals which include St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night.

In some places, such as the town of St Andrews and other Scottish cities, there are week-long celebrations.

Hogmanay begins on Monday, December 30 and ends on Wednesday, January 1 2020, and commemorates the end of the year.

Burns Night will this year fall on Friday, January 25, 2020 – celebrating the life of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Read More: What is St David’s Day, why is he the patron saint of Wales?

Who was St Andrew?

Not much is known about St Andrew, who was believed to have been born between 5AD and 10AD in what is now modern-day Israel.

According to the bible, St Andrew became one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, who closely followed him.

Andrew’s brother Simon Peter was another disciple, and they both lived in Galilee, working as fishermen.

However, despite Andrew’s association with Scotland, neither he nor his brother ever travelled to Scotland during their lives.

Why is St Andrew the patron saint of Scotland?

There are several stories as to how St Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland.

One of these is in the ninth century, Scottish King Angus was preparing for a battle against the English.

St Andrew appeared to King Angus in a dream, saying he would be victorious.

During the fight, an X symbol appeared n the sky, which was the symbol of St Andrew.

Here are three Scottish poems for St Andrew’s Day

1) For Refuge – Pippa Long

Use no names. Roads

have been whited out,

redacted. Hone your oldest sense.

Learn the wind,

memorise where it goes

bearing your odours. The truck-stops

are roofless churches.

2) Breenge – Stuart A Paterson

This morning, as the 372 shoogled

through Carsethorn, hirpled

wabbit past the kirk and through

dreich smirr hoyed down from

droukit braes above, I saw

a coupit yowe in a kelpit lea,

beelin-eened cuddies lean over a hazelrawed

dyke to lour at me, a fug of speugs

3) The Conversion of Sheep – Hugh Mcmillan

When St Fillian first came upon the sheep

they stood with their Sumerian heads

and stared him out,

for it is a fact that though sheep are mentioned

many times in the bible,

it is always in a bad way.



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