St Andrews Day 2019: 10 myths and traditions explained

It is known he was a strong and hardy figure who fished the waters off Galilee, but St Andrew is also considered a man of many myths who has inspired customs and traditions across Europe.

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Many relate to matrimony while others are linked to his role as patron saint of fishermen. In Scotland, one custom suggests his flag could help keep witches out of the home. Here we take a look at some of the myths and legends surrounding our patron Saint - St Andrew.

Some believed the bones of the apostle were brought to Scotland several hundred years after his death with a new religious centre created at Kilrymont - which was then renamed named St Andrews.

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The flag has its place in folklore also, with a one superstition recorded in Scotland and Northern England using the cross as a hex sign on fireplaces to prevent witches from flying down the chimney.
Others believe he was named as patron saint of Scotland after Pictish King Oengus II led a victorious side against the Angles in East Lothian in 832 AD.
In Cyprus, tradition holds that St Andrew was able to cure blindness after finding a healing spring on the Karpas peninsula. He struck the water source with his staff after coming ashore when his boat ran aground.
On the morning of St Andrews day in Romania, mothers gather up tree branches and make a bunch for each family member. Whoevers bunch bloom by New Years Day will have good luck and health that year.
It is said girls should put a branch of sweet basil - or 41 grains of wheat - under their pillow on the night of St Andrews Day. If they dream someone takes them, it means they will marry soon.
In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, names of potential husbands are written on pieces of paper and put in dough. After baking, the first to rise to the top when put in a bowl of water would reveal the future husband.
Names of future husbands are also placed under the pillows of women in Poland on the night before St Andrews Day. The first one removed in the morning will reveal the name of their potential suitor.
In Cape Santo Andre in Portugal, where it is believed St Andrew walked ashore, girls who want to get married throw stones on the roof of the chapel.
On the eve of St Andrews Day, fishermen are said to make a pilgrimage to the chapel to insure their safety at sea.