St Andrew's Day: Scotland's national Day - Time to Party?

 The United Kingdom is made up of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst our cultures share a lot of commonalities, each country has its own distinct culture, which many of its inhabitants are fiercely proud of! Furthermore, each country has its own Patron Saint. 

Patron Saint: The person believed to protect a certain group of people, or country, in Christianity.

These Patron Saints are celebrated on each country’s national day:
1st March - St. David’s Day, Wales.
17th March - St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland.
23rd April - St. George’s Day, England
30th November - St. Andrew’s Day, Scotland.

Today we will learn about the Patron Saint of my home country: Scotland!

Saint Andrew was not Scottish! In fact, he was alive during the first century AD and so never came to the country we know as Scotland today: at least, not while he was alive! Many years after his death, his bones were taken by St. Regulus by boat, but he was unfortunately shipwrecked on the East coast of Scotland. The spot where they crashed became the city of St. Andrew’s (the home of golf and Scotland’s oldest university!)
St. Andrew is also important to the Scottish people (the Scots) because his cross (the saltire) is featured on our flag: A horizontal white cross on a blue background. The Scottish flag is believed to be the oldest flag in Europe!

Nowadays, St. Andrew’s day is a big celebration of Scottish culture! Many people will eat our national dish of Haggis, neaps and tatties with family and friends (more info on our » FB page), or go to a big party with lots of dancing and traditional music, which is called a ceilidh.

Did you know that in Germany there is also a special folklore custom for St. Andrew’s day? Single women who want to marry can ask for St. Andrew’s help on the 29th November. During the night if they hear dogs barking, that is the direction their future husband will come from!