Saint Andrew's Day – November 30, 2019

Fri Nov 29

What is Saint Andrew’s Day?

Saint Andrew’s Day, celebrated on November 30 each year, is considered a national holiday in Scotland and across Europe. Known as the patron saint of Scotland, Romania, Greece, and many more European countries, Saint Andrew was an apostle who not only introduced his brother, Peter, to Jesus, but also helped Scottish King Oengus I win a crucial battle against Northumberland, securing Scotland’s safety. Saint Andrew died a martyr and was crucified on a saltire, or an “X” shaped cross, in Greece in 60 AD. 

History of Saint Andrew’s Day

Quite simply, Saint Andrew, an apostle of Jesus, is the patron saint of Scotland. Thus, Scots have celebrated Andrew for over a thousand years, with feasts being held in his honour as far back as the year 1000 AD. However, it wasn’t until 1320, when Scotland declared independence, that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint. Since then Andrew has become part of the country. The flag of Scotland, the St Andrew’s Cross, was chosen in his honor. Also, the ancient town of St Andrews was named due to its claim of being his final resting place.
 
But why is he so important to Scotland?
 
The New Testament refers to Andrew as being with Jesus on some very momentous occasions. For example, Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes, and when Philip wanted to tell Jesus about certain Greeks seeking Him, he told Andrew first. Andrew was present at the Last Supper; he was also one of the four disciples who came to Jesus on the Mount of Olives to ask about the signs of Jesus’ return at the “end of the age.”
 
Oddly enough — America plays a role in Saint Andrew’s Day. A group of wealthy Scottish immigrants created the “St Andrew’s Society of Charleston” in South Carolina back in 1729. The organization’s actually the oldest Scottish society of its type in the world. It became famous throughout the region for assisting orphans and widows. Also, “The St Andrew’s Society of the State of New York” is the oldest charity of any kind registered in the state. Local Scotsmen, who were looking to help the poor and distressed, founded the group in 1756. From there, St Andrew’s societies have spread around the world.
 
St Andrew’s Day now ranks as one of three major dates during the winter period. Starting off Scotland’s Winter Festival each year on November 30, people across the country gather together to celebrate Andrew and share good times. The day is usually marked with a celebration of Scottish culture, including dancing, music, food and drink, with parties going on until the early morning hours.

Saint Andrew's Day timeline

2006

Saint Andrew's Day was made a bank holiday

Scotland and Northern Ireland recognize Saint Andrew's Day as a bank holiday, giving all Scots the opportunity to celebrate in full force.

1320

Saint Andrew was made Scotland's patron saint

Although Saint Andrew was revered in Scotland from around 1000 AD, he was not made an official patron saint until the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.

60 AD

Saint Andrew was crucified

As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Saint Andrew meets a similar fate — crucified in Greece in 60 AD on a saltire, or a 'X' shaped cross.

33 AD

A seat at the table

Saint Andrew was among the apostles present at the last supper which was a pretty plum reservation to get. Try the wine.

Saint Andrew's Day FAQs

Why do we celebrate Saint Andrew's Day?

Saint Andrew, an apostle of Jesus, is the patron saint of Scotland. Thus, Scots have celebrated Andrew for over a thousand years.
 

Is Saint Andrew’s Day a public holiday?

This is considered Scotland’s National Day. This patron saint day was declared a bank holiday in 2006 by the Scottish Parliament although banks are not required to close if they do not wish to.
 

What do you eat on St Andrew's Day?

Try neeps and tatties! Although typically served with haggis, neeps and tatties are featured in many Scottish dishes. Oh yes, ‘neeps’ are turnips and ‘tatties’ are potatoes.
 

How to Observe Saint Andrew's Day

  1. Throw your own Saint Andrew's feast

    Gather your friends and feast on haggis, porridge, black pudding (ok, maybe leave that one out), and whiskey! While you're at it, create some fun trivia about Saint Andrew himself. Did you know he was a fisherman as well?

  2. Wear a kilt

    While it may not be a national holiday in America, we all can be Scots at heart. To celebrate Saint Andrew's Day, wear a kilt, paint your face with a traditional blue saltire (better known as Scotland's flag), and call it a day!

  3. Visit the town of St Andrews

    If you're like us, then you're ready to book a one-way ticket to Scotland after learning how much fun it is to celebrate Saint Andrew's Day. From November 30 to December 3, you can find the Scots celebrating across Europe, but it gets no better than in the town of St. Andrews itself, thanks to rolling landscapes, history, and tradition.

5 Odd Saint Andrew's Eve Traditions You Won't Believe

  1. Hiding grains to get a husband

    In Romania it is tradition for young women to place 41 grains underneath their pillow, and if they dream their grains are stolen, then it's believed they will find a husband within the year.

  2. How to guess your future husband's occupation

    In Poland husbandless women believe they are able to predict their future husband's occupation by pouring hot wax through a keyhole into water — the wax forming to resemble the shape of their occupation.

  3. The way to a man's heart is through food

    In Slovakia young women write down the names of potential husbands on pieces of paper, kneading them into dough and baking; the first name to rise to the top of the bread will be their husband.

  4. A curious way to get a girl's attention

    In Moldova young men steal and hide gates or doors from the homes of the young women they wish to marry. In the morning the fathers' are tasked with finding their gates, thus knowing their daughter has a suitor.

  5. One foot out of the door

    In Austria young women throw a shoe over their shoulder; if it lands pointing towards the door they will be married within the year.

Why Saint Andrew's Day is Important

  1. This celebration is cause for a feast

    In Scotland and across Europe, people celebrate Saint Andrew's Day by feasting! May we suggest whipping up a meal of traditional haggis, neeps, and tatties (turnips and potatoes), and topping it off with a glass of Scottish whiskey — straight?

  2. Kilts are fun

    Do we really need a reason to wear a kilt? No. Do we want a reason to wear a kilt? Absolutely. To celebrate, grab yourself a traditional Scottish kilt and never look back!

  3. Whiskey — and lots of it

    Since Saint Andrew's Day is considered Scotland's national holiday, Scots go all out with weeklong festivals, parties, and more. You can find a glass of whiskey or beer in just about anybody's hand during the celebrations!

Saint Andrew's Day dates
YearDateDay
2019November 30Saturday
2020November 30Monday
2021November 30Tuesday
2022November 30Wednesday
2023November 30Thursday