St Andrew's Day

St Andrew in a medieval illuminated manuscript

Every year on 30 November Scots around the world fly the Saltire, Scotland’s national flag, and celebrate St Andrew’s Day.

Sir David Lyndsay wrote of the feasts that King James IV (1473-1513) held in honour of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.

'And ilk year for his patron’s saik,
Ane banquet royall wald he maik,
With wylde fowle, venisoun and wyne,
With tairt and flam and fruitage fyne'

Away from the nobles’ feasts of wild fowl and venison, people went ‘Sanct Andra-ing’ to catch squirrels and rabbits for the pot.

In recent years St Andrew’s Day has been marked by a series of significant cultural events in Scotland. At Edinburgh Castle, on St Andrew's Day 1996, the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland. Two years later the Museum of Scotland was first opened to the public. On St Andrew's Day 1999 the Queen officially opened the restored Great Hall of Stirling Castle. The first 50 members of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame were formally inducted on St Andrew’s Day 2002. In 2006, more than 60 nations around the world held events celebrating Scotland's patron saint.

Schools across Scotland hold special St Andrew’s Day events and activities including art shows, Scottish country dancing, lunchtime ceilidhs, dance festivals, storytelling, reciting and writing poems, writing tall tales, cooking traditional Scottish meals, and even bagpipe playing!

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