A Guide to St Andrew and his Day
The Scots are famous for celebrating, and St Andrew’s Day is no exception!
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s national day. Its origins date to the 11th Century and the reign of Malcolm III. Today it is used to celebrate the best in Scottish food, music and culture and marks the beginning of the Scottish Winter Festivals, including Hogmanay and Burns’ Night.
There are celebrations happening throughout Scotland this week including food festivals, ceilidhs and street celebrations; making it the perfect time to visit for a truly unique experience of all things Scottish.
Dunnottar Castle also boasts connections to the saint; in 1276, the church built here was consecrated by the Bishop of St Andrews, the most important bishop in Scotland.
Why not channel your inner Scot this year and celebrate our special day along with us?
Things you might not know about St Andrew and his legacy
- Andrew and his brother Simon Peter (later St Peter) were Galilean fishermen when they became disciples of Jesus Christ.
- The legend of St Andrew states that a monk called Regulus brought relics of St Andrew to Scotland where he was given land to build a church by an ancient Pictish King. That cathedral grew into the town still known today as St Andrews.
- The town of St Andrews has no apostrophe, because they weren’t invented the English language when it was founded.
- In 1320, the Scottish people petitioned the Pope to help protect them against the English Kings’ attempts to control the nation. Having St Andrew as their patron saint convinced the Pope, said to be a descendent of St Peter, to help them.
- St Andrews University is the oldest in Scotland, founded in 1413.
- The Scottish flag, also called the St Andrew’s Cross or Saltire, has been used as a symbol of St Andrew as early as the year 832 AD, and was officially recognised as a “badge” of the Scottish people in 1388 – four years before the Keep at Dunnottar Castle was completed!
- St Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Barbados and Romania – as well as of all fishermen.