St. Andrews Day – Celebrating on November 30 !!!

 

St. Andrew’s Day

 

 

November 30 th

 

The Story of St. Andrew

 

 

 

St. Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November.

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew’s Day (Scottish Gaelic: Latha Naomh Anndra) is Scotland’s official national day. According to legend a monk called Regulus brought relics of St Andrew to Scotland where he was given land to build a church by a Pictish king. The settlement grew into the town of St Andrew’s, where the cathedral became a place of religious pilgrimage and the university, the oldest in Scotland, was founded in 1413.

In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St. Andrew’s Night”), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St. Andrew’s Prayer”), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Andrews”).

 

Bank Holiday

In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, which designated the Day as an official bank holiday. If 30 November falls on a weekend, the next Monday is a bank holiday instead.

Throughout his 33-year political career as a councillor, MP and MSP Dennis Canavan
is sure to be remembered as one of the most colourful politicians to grace the halls of Holyrood.

The notion that the day should be an official bank holiday was first proposed by Dennis Canavan, Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk West in 2003.However, the Bill he introduced to the Parliament was initially rejected as the Executive did not support it.

A compromise deal was reached whereby the holiday would not be an additional entitlement. Then First Minister, Jack McConnell, stated that he believed that employers and employees should mark the day with a holiday, but that this should be as a substitute for an existing local holiday, rather than an additional one. 

 

Although it is a bank holiday, banks are not required to close and employers are not required to give their employees the day off as a holiday. St Andrew’s Day is an official flag day in Scotland. The Scottish Government’s flag-flying regulations state that the Flag of Scotland (The Saltire) shall fly on all its buildings with a flagpole.

The Union Flag is also flown if the building has more than one flagpole. The arrangements for the United Kingdom Government in Scotland are the opposite. They fly the Union Flag, and will only fly the Saltire if there is more than one flagpole.

 

The flying of the Saltire on St Andrew’s Day is a recent development. Prior to 2002, the Scottish Government followed the UK Government’s flag days and would only fly the Union Flag on St Andrew’s Day. This led to Members of the Scottish Parliament complaining that Scotland was the only country in the world that could not fly its national flag on its national day. The regulations were updated to state that the Union Flag would be removed and replaced by the Saltire on buildings with only one flagpole.

The flying of the Union Flag from Edinburgh Castle on all days, including St Andrew’s Day causes anger among some Scottish National Party politicians who have argued that the Saltire should fly on 30 November instead.

However, the Union Flag is flown by the British Army at the Castle as it still is an official British Army flag flying station, and all Army installations fly the Union Flag at ratio 3:5. Historic Scotland, a Scottish Government agency, lease part of the Castle to the British Army.

The British Army has been criticised for refusing to fly the Saltire above Edinburgh Castle, but dropping the Union Flag in its recruitment campaigns in Scotland instead preferring the Saltire, a decision branded hypocritical by SNP politicians.

The University of St Andrews gives the day for all the students as a free holiday.

 

Related traditions in continental Europe

In parts of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew’s Day is specially suitable for magic that reveals a young woman’s future husband or that binds a future husband to her. 

 

Many related customs exist: for example, the pouring of hot lead into water (in Poland, one usually pours hot wax from a candle through a key hole into cold water), divining the future husband’s profession from the shape of the resulting piece (related divinations using molten metals are still popular in Germany on Hogmanay).

In some areas in Austria, young women would drink wine and then perform a spell, called Andreasgebet (Saint Andrew’s prayer), while nude and kicking a straw bed. This was supposed to magically attract the future husband. Yet another custom is to throw a clog over one’s shoulder: if it lands pointing to the door, the woman will get married in the same year.

 
 

 

In some parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, young women would write down the names of potential husbands on little pieces of paper and stick these into little pieces of dough, called Halusky. When cooked, the first one to float to the surface of the water would reveal the name of their future husband.

In Poland, some women put pieces of paper (on which they have written potential husbands) under the pillow and first thing in the morning they take one out, which allegedly reveals their future husband.

In Romania, it is customary for young women to put 41 grains of wheat beneath their pillow before they go to sleep, and if they dream that someone is coming to steal their grains that means that they are going to get married next year. Also in some other parts of the country the young women light a candle from the Easter and bring it, at midnight, to a fountain. They ask St. Andrew to let them glimpse their future husband.

 

Image: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cmw9/induction/?cat=3

Today, the Christians all over the world celebrates Saint Andrew, the first Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Andrew was at first a disciple of John the Baptizer along with John the Theologian. When the Forerunner pointed out Jesus as the Christ, they both became His disciples. Andrew took his brother, Saint Peter, to meet Jesus. He is called the Protokletos (the First Called) because he was the first Apostle to be summoned by Jesus into His service. Andrew and his brother Peter made their living as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.

Both men became Apostles, and while Peter symbolically came to represent the Church of the West, Andrew likewise represents the Church of the East. St. Andrew is also the national saint of Romanians and Romanian Orthodox Church.

According to ecclesiastical tradition, Andrew began his missionary activity in the Provinces of Vithynia and Pontus on the southern shores of the Black Sea. Later he journeyed to the City of Byzantium and founded the Christian Church there, ordaining the first Bishop of Byzantium, Stachys, who was one of the 70 disciples of the Lord. After Pentecost, Andrew taught in Byzantium, Thrace, Russia, Epiros, and Peloponnese.

In Amisos, he converted the Jews in the temple, baptized them, healed their sick, built a church, and left a priest for them. In Bithynia, he taught, healed their sick, and drove away the wild beasts that bothered them. His prayers destroyed the pagan temples, and those who resisted his words became possessed and gnawed at their bodies until Andrew healed them.

St. Andrew’s Church, Kiev

The official stance of the Romanian Orthodox Church is that Saint Andrew preached the Gospel to the Daco-Romans in the province of Dobrogea (Scythia Minor), whom he converted to Christianity. The Orthodox Church has been a companion and defender of the Romanian people for all of their 2000-year history.

He is the Patron Saint of Romania, Russia, and Scotland.

Greetings from around the Globe:

 
 

Today is St. Andrew’s Day – and Google have celebrated the feast day of Scotland’s patron saint with a Google doodle.

The logo’s usual bold colours have been swapped for tartan, with the Saltire – the Scottish flag of St Andrew with a white cross on a blue background – is flying.

The St. Andrew’s Day celebration has also been marked by Barack Obama, as The White House yesterday sent Scotland a St. Andrew’s Day message for the first time.

 

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said America “congratulated” the people of Scotland as it prepared to mark its national day.

In a statement on the US Department of State website, she said:

Scotland’s unique culture and traditions have long been admired around the world, and the special ties between our two nations date back to the founding of the United States. From Patrick Henry and John Paul Jones to Davy Crockett and Neil Armstrong, trail-blazing Scottish-Americans have helped shape the history of our country in profound ways.”

Today, the United States and Scotland continue to share strong ties rooted in our common ancestry, values, and interests. Our people work together on many of the most pressing challenges of our time, and both houses of the United States Congress have Friends of Scotland Caucuses to further promote friendship and co-operation between Scotland and the United States.

 

“I wish the people of Scotland a joyous St Andrew’s Day celebration and a successful year ahead.

We look forward to further deepening our friendship throughout the future.”

 

The Scottish flag, the Saltire, is based on the X-shaped cross on which St Andrew was crucified on 30 November, 60 AD. An ancient story tells that a St Andrew’s Cross was seen in the sky on the morning of a crucial battle in 832AD between the Picts and the Angles. The Picts were inspired by the symbol and were victorious in the battle.

In Scotland, and many countries with Scottish connections, St Andrew’s Day is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture with traditional Scottish food, music and dance. Schools across Scotland hold special St Andrew’s Day events and activities including art shows, Scottish country dancing, lunchtime ceilidhs, dance festivals, storytelling, reciting and writing poems, writing tall tales, cooking traditional Scottish meals, and bagpipe-playing!

In Scotland now the day is also seen as the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals encompassing St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year, also called New Year’s Eve. Some of the Scottish traditions for celebrating New Year have now been adopted world-wide.

In Scotland, Hogmanay is the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (January 1) or, in some cases, January 2 which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. Tradititionally in Scotland, Hogmanay is a bigger celebration than Christmas.

The custom of singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight on New Year’s Eve is now common in many countries. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is a traditional poem reinterpreted by Robert Burns, which was later set to music.

Nowadays Scottish cities, particularly Edinburgh, organize events for New Year to attract tourists and boost the local economy.

 

 
 

A Celebration of Women

sends our blessings to all the Women of our World in Scotland et al,

celebrating this day.

 

 

Celebrate St. Andrew’s Day!

 

Comments

  1. SATHI BALASINGAM says

    Dear Madam,
    Congratulations on your site. Its not only beautiful but also very informative not only of the festival that’s celebrated but how its remembered elsewhere.

    Regards
    S.BALASINGAM

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