St Andrew’s Day

Celebrating St. Andrew’s Day in 2024

Every year in November, Scots around the world celebrate their national day in honor of their patron saint, St. Andrew.

With highland games, dancing, traditional music and food, it’s a lively celebration of Scottish culture and heritage. Read on to learn more about Scotland’s biggest national holiday!

When is St. Andrew’s Day?

St. Andrew’s Day falls on November 30th each year, commemorating the death of St. Andrew in 60 AD.

The date lands on different days of the week annually, but the festivities carry on regardless. If it happens to land on a weekday, Scotland gets a Bank Holiday!

NOVEMBER 30 2024

Who was St. Andrew?

Andrew the Apostle was one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus and the brother of St. Peter. Originally from Bethsaida, he travelled spreading Christianity until he was crucified by the Romans in Greece. He became Scotland’s patron saint after legends spread that his relics had been transported here in the 8th century.

The flag of Scotland even depicts the crux decussata, or St. Andrew’s Cross, on which he was martyred.

Traditions and Customs

Bagpipes, highland dancers and torchlight processions fill the streets in major cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow. Scottish country dancing, or ceilidhs, carry on late into the night.

The town of St. Andrews has a festival called The Big Hoolie. A ceilidh dance party, a parade, fireworks over West Sands beach.

Scots have many traditions to mark the date, from wearing tartan to dining on cock-a-leekie soup and cranachan.

The Royal Bank of Scotland even gives employees a half-day holiday to celebrate their patron saint!

St. Andrew’s Day Celebrations

On November 30th, St. Andrew’s Day events take place across Scotland. Major cities put on parades, concerts and festivals to celebrate, while smaller towns host dinners and ceilidhs. Stirling and Aberdeen have renowned Hogmanay-style New Year’s celebrations encompassing St. Andrew’s Day. Most schools have special assemblies and activities to teach children about Scotland’s history and culture. Anywhere you are, you’re sure to find Tartan Day festivities!

Celebrating at Home

You can join the party from home too! Decorate with blue and white Scottish flags, or cook up some cock-a-leekie soup or crispy fried haggis neeps and tatties.

Look up popular Scottish country dances and give them a try, or play some bagpipe music. Learn a few handy Gaelic phrases like “Là Fhèill Andreia” (Happy St. Andrew’s Day!). However you mark November 30th, enjoy the traditions of Scottish culture.

Toast with some Whisky

Scotland is famous for Whisky and many people choose to toast with a wee dram of whisky to mark the occasion.

St. Andrew’s Day honors Scotland’s roots with nationwide events, food, music and dance. From the Highlands to the biggest cities, Scots celebrate their patron saint with great patriotic pride. The lively festivities invite everyone to come together and experience iconic symbols of Scottish heritage. So next November 30th, don your tartan and get ready to join in this lively national celebration!

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