St Andrew’s Day

On November 29, 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007. Queen Elizabeth II gave the St. Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007 Royal Assent on January 15, 2007. Scotland celebrated its very first St Andrew’s Day bank holiday and social event on November 30, 2007. The momentous occasion launched a renewal of Scottish cultural interest. The Scottish government marked the celebrations of Scottish culture which is now celebrated around the world. In celebration of this most prestigious holiday, public buildings throughout Scotland proudly fly the Scotland flag also known as the or Saltire. The British Union Flag is flown to mark the celebration in other parts of the of the United Kingdom. Throughout Scotland, schools and several businesses closed to honour the holiday. Born in Bethesda on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, St Andrew was the younger brother of St Peter and both was the disciples of Jesus.

On November 30, St Andrew’s Day next bank holiday celebrations get underway in Scotland. Traditionally, this bank holiday is celebrated on the Monday, December 1 or 2 whenever the November 30 falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Like many other national British holidays, St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday is a time for friends and family to gather in celebration of the occasion. In Scotland, schools and several businesses closed to honour the holiday. Edinburgh dedicates an entire week to honour the celebrations. The week long celebrations feature music, entertainment and traditional ceilidh dancing. Couples dancing in a circle or in a group of eight for the ceilidh social event is another popular aspect of the day’s celebration. The pride and joy of Scotland, Scottish Bow Tie and Scotland Braces can be seen worn by males enjoying the festivities everywhere in Scotland.

Since the ninth century, St. Andrew was revered as the patron saint of Scotland. The “X” in the Scottish flag is in recognition of St Andrew who died tied to an “X” shaped cross at Patras in Achaea in Greece. While St Andrew’s Day is not an official bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in Glasgow the celebration will feature a very impressive party. The festivities in Glasgow include a selection of traditional music and a ceilidh dance. In other regions of Scotland like Dumfries, songs are performed in the Burn’s night tradition to celebrate St Andrew’s Day 2010.

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