The exact details of the life and times of our patron saint still remain unknown, but it hasn’t stopped people speculating.
To many he was a Galilean fisherman who became a disciple of Jesus and was crucified by the Romans. However, there’s still an air of mystery surrounding how he came to be Scotland’s patron saint. One of most significant theories states that in the 800s, Pictish king Angus MacFergus saw a saltire cross in the sky immediately before a battle, and took Saint Andrew as his patron from then on.
It’s believed that St Andrew was crucified by the Romans on the 30th of November which is why the day is earmarked for celebrations of all things Scottish. St Andrew’s Day is a celebration of Scotland’s history and culture.
The Scottish Parliament made St Andrew’s Day an official bank holiday in Scotland in 2007, although banks are not obliged to close and there is no mandatory day off for workers. The celebrations, therefore, are varied.
Celebration have involved traditional Scottish dress, Scottish dancing, poem recitals, and traditional foods such as haggis, neeps and cullen skink being served to revellers.
Crowds take to Scotland’s streets for St Andrew’s Day parades with pipers and Highland Terries spotted on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Other parts of the country have come up with stranger ways to celebrate the day, one group of Scots in Dumbrae held an aqua-ceilidh to mark St Andrew’s day.
It’s not just those in Scotland who honour the patron saint, Eton College near Windsor mark the day with an annual St Andrew’s wall game, once played by Prince Harry.
In Barbados, St Andrew’s Day is also Independence Day, with a saltire on the Caribbean island’s coat of arms.
In Poland, Andrzejki is marked overnight between 29 and 30 November, with fortune-telling one of the main events. Hot wax is poured into water, and the shape of the wax once cooled can apparently predict who the pourer will eventually marry.