Saint Andrew is Scotland's patron saint, and every 30th November he is celebrated worldwide by Scots on St. Andrew's Day, which is also a Scottish bank holiday. It is one of the three major Scottish dates during winter, the others being Burns Night and Hogmanay. St. Andrew was known for his kindness and generosity, and these ideals are central to Scotland's national identity; in fact, several charitable organisations have been set up in honour of St. Andrew.
It's believed that St. Andrew, or Andrew the Apostle, was born between 5 and 10 AD. In the New Testament, he became part of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. St. Andrew's Day has been celebrated for over 1000 years, and feasts have been held in his honour going even farther back than that. In 1320, when Scotland's independence was declared, St. Andrew was named the patron saint, with Saint Andrew's Cross (or Saltire) being chosen as the flag of Scotland. However, it wasn't until the 18th century that St. Andrew's Day was more widely celebrated.
While people from all over Scotland gather together for the holiday, there are also St. Andrew's Societies worldwide, all with their own traditions of how to celebrate; however, all usually involve food, drink, and dancing. Celebrations often include a special type of party called a ceilidh, which includes Scottish country dancing. There are also traditional foods served, such as cullen skink, a type of fish soup.
Pay tribute to St. Andrew this year by accessorising your kilt with Saltire themed kilt accessories: