St Andrew's day

"Andrzejki" redirects here. For the village, see Andrzejki, Podlaskie Voivodeship.

Saint Andrew's Day
Fortune-telling, 1867
Observed by Orthodox Christian Church
Roman Catholic Church (traditional holy day of precept)
Patronal feast of Scotland
Type Bank holiday in Scotland
Celebrations Bank holiday (in Scotland)
Date 30 November
2013 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2014 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2015 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
2016 date Template:Infobox holiday/date
Next time 30 November 2014 (2014-11-30)
Frequency annual
Template:Culture of Scotland

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

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day (Scots: Saunt Andra's Day, Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Aindrea) is Scotland's official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday. It is also a national holiday in Romania.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, at least in the English-speaking world, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople[1] and Saint Andrew, Barbados.

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 ("Little Andrews", diminutive), in Russia as Андреева ночь ("Night Andrew").

Traditions and celebrations in Scotland

The celebration of St Andrew as a national festival is thought to originate from the reign of Malcolm III (1034 - 1093). But it is only in more recent times that the 30 November has been given national holiday status.[2]

Bank Holiday

In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007,[3] which designated the Day as an official bank holiday. If 30 November falls on a weekend, the next Monday is a bank holiday instead. 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.

The University of St Andrews traditionally gives the day for all the students as a free holiday, but this is not a binding rule.

The Saltire

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 or Saint Andrew's Cross) shall fly on all its buildings with a flagpole.[4] 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. The regulations were updated to state that the Union Flag would be removed and replaced by the Saltire on buildings with only one flagpole.[5]

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.[6] However, the Union Flag is flown by the British Army at the Castle as it still is an official British Army flag flying station.

Celebrations

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 the day is also seen as the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals encompassing St Andrew's Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night.[7] In Edinburgh, there is a week of celebrations, concentrating on musical entertainment and traditional ceilidh dancing. A ceilidh is a social event with couples dancing in circles or sets (groups of eight people). In Glasgow city center, a large shindig, or party, with traditional music and a ceilidh are held. In Dumfries, songs are performed in the Burn's night tradition.

St. Andrew's Eve

Andrzejki (pronounced an-dzey-ki) is the day of St. Andrew, who is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece, and Russia.

In parts of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew's Day is especially 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, the holiday is celebrated on the night of the 29th through 30th of November. Traditionally, the holiday was only observed by young single girls, though today both young men and women join the party to see their futures.[8] 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.[citation needed] St Andrew is invoked to ward off wolves, the enemy of travellers, who are thought to be able to eat any animal they want on this night, and to speak to humans. A human hearing a wolf speak to him will die.[9] St. Andrew is also the patron saint of Romania and the Romanian Orthodox Church.[10]

Barbados

Saint Andrew's Day is celebrated as the national day of Independence in Barbados. As the patron saint of Barbados, Saint Andrew is celebrated in a number of Barbadian symbols including the cross formation of the Barbadian Coat of Arms, and the country's national honours system which styles persons as Knights or Dames of St. Andrew.[11]

See also

Holidays portal
Saints portal

References

External links

  • Descriptions of celebrations in Scotland and around the world
  • St. Andrew's Day marked by Alex Salmond and David Cameron
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