Feb 01, 2023
St. Andrew’s Day is a time to celebrate the rich history and culture of Scotland. This special day, which takes place on the 30th of November each year, is a celebration of the life and legacy of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
For over a thousand years, the people of Scotland have come together to celebrate this special day with a variety of traditions, food, music, and dance. But what is the history behind St. Andrew's Day and how do we celebrate it today? In this blog post, we will explore the origins of St. Andrew’s Day and the various ways that you can celebrate this special day. Whether you're of Scottish descent, visiting Edinburgh in November or simply want to learn more about this fascinating holiday, you'll find plenty of inspiration here.
St. Andrew's Day has been celebrated in Scotland for over a thousand years, with the first recorded celebration taking place in the year 1320. The origins of the day are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have been established as a way to honour Saint Andrew, who is the patron saint of Scotland. According to legend, Saint Andrew was a fisherman and a disciple of Jesus, and he is said to have brought Christianity to Scotland in the 1st century AD.
The exact reason why Saint Andrew was chosen to be the patron saint of Scotland is not known for certain. However, there are several theories that have been put forward to explain the choice. One theory suggests that Saint Andrew was chosen as the patron saint of Scotland due to his association with the fishing industry, as fishing was an important part of the Scottish economy at the time.
Another theory suggests that in the 9th century, King Angus of Scotland was preparing for a battle against the English. According to legend, Saint Andrew appeared to King Angus in a dream, promising him victory. On the day of the battle, an X-shaped cross, which is the symbol of Saint Andrew, was said to have appeared in the sky. In gratitude for the victory, King Angus vowed that if they won, Saint Andrew would be made the patron saint of Scotland. This promise was fulfilled, and thus Saint Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland.
Saint Andrew has had a significant influence on Scottish history and culture. Saint Andrew's influence can be seen in the Scottish flag, the Saltire. The flag features a white X-shaped cross on a blue background, which is said to represent the cross on which Saint Andrew was martyred.
In addition, St. Andrews, a city in Scotland, also bears his name, and it is home to the University of St. Andrews, the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world. The city is also home to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, which was once the most important religious site in Scotland.
St. Andrew's Day, which takes place on November 30th each year, holds a significant place in the Scottish calendar, as it marks the beginning of Scotland's Winter Festival and is considered one of the most important dates after Burns Night and Hogmanay. The day is an official bank holiday and is a great occasion for celebrating Scottish culture, traditional cuisine, and dance.
On St. Andrew's Day, traditional Scottish dishes are often enjoyed as part of the celebrations. Some of the typical foods that are typically eaten on this day include Cullen skink, a thick fish soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions; haggis, a savory pudding made from sheep organs, oats, and spices; neeps and tatties, a traditional Scottish dish consisting of mashed turnips and potatoes; and Cranachan, a dessert made with whipped cream, raspberries, oats, and whisky. These dishes not only provide a delicious taste of Scottish cuisine but also showcase the rich culinary heritage of the country. Some people also like to add some whisky or traditional Scottish ale to the menu to make it more authentic.
While Scotland is the main country to celebrate St. Andrew's Day, it is worth noting that St. Andrew is also the patron saint of several other countries, including Romania, Russia, Greece, and Ukraine among others. In fact, St. Andrew's Day was originally started in the United States by a group of Scottish immigrants who wanted to remember their Scottish roots. This shows that St. Andrew's Day is not only celebrated in Scotland but also in other countries around the world.
St. Andrew's Day is celebrated in different towns and cities across Scotland, with each place having its own unique way of marking the occasion. In the historic city of St. Andrews, the festivities last an entire week, with pipe bands, an open-air ceilidh, and street parties. In the city of Glasgow, St. Andrew's Day is often celebrated with parades and fireworks, as well as traditional Scottish food, drink, and music. In Aberdeen, the locals celebrate with a special service at St. Machar's Cathedral, followed by a traditional Scottish dance and a Burns Supper. In the Scottish Borders, St. Andrew's Day is celebrated with a torchlit parade, traditional music, and traditional dances, including the famous Reels, Jigs and Strathspeys.
TIn Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, the day is celebrated with storytelling events, street markets, and traditional music, providing an excellent start to Scotland's winter celebrations.
Beyond the celebrations, there are many cultural things to do around St. Andrew's Day in Edinburgh. One popular cultural attraction is the St Giles' Cathedral, which is also known as the "Mother Church of Presbyterianism". This historic church has been an important place of worship for over 900 years and is a great place to learn more about Scotland's religious heritage.
Another popular cultural attraction is the Royal Mile, which is a series of streets that connect Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood. The Royal Mile is home to many historical buildings, including the 16th-century Mercat Cross, which was used to make announcements and conduct public business. The Royal Mile is also home to several museums, including the Museum of Edinburgh and the Writer's Museum, which are both excellent places to learn more about the city's history and culture.
Another cultural attraction is the National Museum of Scotland, which showcases the history, culture, and natural history of Scotland, with a wide range of interactive exhibits and displays. The museum also has special exhibitions and events throughout the year, including St. Andrew's Day.
From historical sites and museums to traditional music and dance performances, you're sure to find something that interests you.
Fraser Suites Edinburgh is the perfect place to stay if you're visiting Edinburgh over St. Andrew's Day. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, making it easy to access all the events and activities that take place during the celebrations. You'll be able to walk to the St. Andrew's Day events in the city centre, including storytelling events, street markets, and traditional music performances that help kick off Scotland's winter celebrations.
Fraser Suites Edinburgh offers comfortable accommodation, with well-appointed suites that are perfect for families or groups of friends. The hotel also provides excellent facilities, including a fitness centre and lobby area, where you can relax between the festivities.
Additionally, Fraser Suites Edinburgh offers a high standard of service, which will make your stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. The staff is friendly and helpful, providing you with all the information you need to make the most of your visit to Edinburgh.
All in all, Fraser Suites Edinburgh is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a convenient base from which to explore Edinburgh during St. Andrew's Day celebrations.
The best time to visit Edinburgh depends on your personal preferences and what you want to see and do in the city. The summer months of June to August are the warmest and most popular time to visit, with many festivals and events taking place. However, the city is also beautiful in the spring and fall, when the weather is milder, and there are fewer crowds.
The best way to get around Edinburgh depends on your personal preferences and the distance you want to travel. The city centre is easy to explore on foot, and many of the top tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. Public transportation, such as buses and trams, are also convenient options for getting around the city. Taxis and Uber are also available. For those who prefer to explore the city on their own schedule, bicycles and cars can be rented.
Edinburgh offers a diverse range of food and drink options, with something to suit every taste and budget. You can find traditional Scottish cuisine, such as haggis, Cullen skink, and neeps and tatties, as well as international options like Italian, Chinese, and Indian. The city is also home to many excellent pubs and bars, where you can sample local beers and whiskies. There are also a number of cafes and coffee shops, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. In addition, Edinburgh also has a thriving food scene, with a number of Michelin-starred restaurants and a variety of casual dining options.