St Andrew's Day - 30 November

A photo of children wearing tartan sashes and singing

St Andrew's Day is celebrated each year on 30 November and is Scotland's national day.

St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, as well as several other countries including Greece, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

According to legend a monk called Regulus brought relics of St Andrew to Scotland where he was given land to build a church by a Pictish king. The settlement grew into the town of St Andrew's, where the cathedral became a place of religious pilgrimage and the university, the oldest in Scotland, was founded in 1413.

The Scottish flag, the Saltire, is based on the X-shaped cross on which St Andrew was crucified on 30 November, 60 AD. An ancient story tells that a St Andrew's Cross was seen in the sky on the morning of a crucial battle in 832AD between the Picts and the Angles. The Picts were inspired by the symbol and were victorious in the battle.

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In Scotland, and many countries with Scottish connections, St Andrew's Day is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture with traditional Scottish food, music and dance. 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 bagpipe-playing!

In Scotland now the day is also seen as the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals encompassing St Andrew's Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night.

Resources

Scotland.org - St Andrew's Day

Link to information and events for St Andrew's Day on Scotland.org - the official gateway to Scotland.

Christianity

Section of the Education Scotland Testimony website with information about Christianity, its central teachings, and the people who practise it.

Saints and relics

Page on the Scotland's History website about Christian saints and relics in medieval Scotland

Religion, festivals and beliefs

Page on the Scotland's History website about the Christian religion in medieval Scotland.

PDF file: Historic Scotland - Investigating St Andrews Cathedral

St Andrews Cathedral was once the most important religious site in the whole of Scotland. Today the cathedral is in ruins but it is still an impressive and inspiring site. This PDF has information for teachers.

Video: The story of St Andrew

A short animation which tells the story of how St Andrew became the Patron Saint of Scotland.

Resource calendar

Links to resources to support learning related to celebrations, awareness days and action weeks throughout the year.

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