St Andrew’s Day 2022: Why is the day celebrated and do Scots get a day off?

St Andrew’s Day is an annual celebration of  Scotland   (PA Wire)
St Andrew’s Day is an annual celebration of Scotland (PA Wire)

St Andrew’s Day is on November 30 and is a day for Scots to celebrate their patron saint, Saint Andrew.

The Scottish celebratory day is also known as the Feast of Saint Andrew and much like St George’s Day in England, St Patrick’s Day in Ireland and St David’s Day in Wales – the annual event brings together families and friends to celebrate their nation’s rich culture.

The day has been celebrated for over a thousand years dating back as early as 1000 AD, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the annual celebration became commonplace.

St Andrew became the official patron saint after Scotland declared its independence in 1320 with the ancient town of St Andrews being named and claimed as his final resting place.

Who was St Andrew?

Andrew was Jesus Christ’s first disciple and an apostle, according to the New Testament.

He is the brother of Simon Peter and is a son of Jonah and preached the teachings of Jesus around the globe.

St Andrew’s blessings were felt far and wide beyond Scotland and for that reason he is also a patron saint in many other countries including Russia, Spain, Romania, Barbados and Ukraine.

St Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross in Greece on 30 November 60 AD, which is now represented by the white cross of the Scottish flag.

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What happens on St Andrew’s Day and is it a bank holiday?

The day was declared a bank holiday by the Scottish Parliament in 2006; however, banks are not required to close if they do not wish to.

If St Andrew’s Day falls on a weekend, the bank holiday is then moved to the following Monday.

People from across the country join together to celebrate Scottish culture.

Traditional food such as haggis, music and dancing are part of the festivities and many celebrate until the early morning hours.

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