Saturday, 1 December 2012

St. Andrew's Day!

Yesterday (November 30th) marked the Feast of Saint Andrew which is celebrated all across Europe and especially in Scotland. Saint Andrew was the patron saint of Scotland making St. Andrew’s Day (or, in Gaelic: Latha Naomh Andra’s) and it was declared a bank holiday in 2006. Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and it’s also celebrated in Germany. Austria and Poland.

Saint Andrew was a fisher from Galilee and one of the first disciples off Christ. He never actually set foot on Sotland during his preaching but he was crucified on an ‘x’-shaped cross which inspired the cross that forms to Saltire (Scotland’s National Flag). As the story goes, an angel came to a Roman monk (Rule) and told them to move Saint Andrew’s bones from Constantinople to the ends of the earth for safe keeping but the boat carrying his bones was shipwrecked on a settlement on the east coast of Scotland that would be called St. Andrews. His bones were placed on the same sight as the cathedral of St. Andrews which was built in the 11th century. Many of the relics were destroyed during the Scottish Reformation.

Celebrating St. Andrew’s Day is like celebrating the 4th of July in the States. There’s dancing and music and tones of wonderful dishes including Cullen skink, Spiced winter fruit and rice pudding and Roast shoulder lamb with potato and onion.

Here’s a playlist of St. Andrew’s Day music to dance to:

And what Scottish festival would be complete without a kilt? Here’s a guide with tips on what to wear and how to wear it:

Kilts are often worn instead of a black tie and suit at formal occasions such as weddings. The kilt is a really flexible outfit and can be formal or informal and traditional or modern. The pattern of the kilt and the choice of jacket, shoes and socks can make a real fashion statement.

Some typical events when you might see people wearing a kilt are St Andrew's Day, Robert Burns’ Night and Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve). Occasions when people wear kilts can range from weddings to ceilidhs and football and rugby matches.
The pattern of a tartan is often linked with a Scottish surname but tartans have been designed for cities and businesses too. Some surnames have more than one pattern linked with them in different colours.
If you don’t have a connection with a Scottish name then don’t worry, there are no rules stopping you wearing whichever tartan you like.
Take a look at the outfit options below to get some ideas for creating your own style.
Tips for wearing a kilt for the first time
  1. Try to practice sitting, standing up and even getting in and out of a car
  2. When you sit down make sure the front of your kilt falls between your legs to avoid embarrassment for anyone facing you
  3. When you stand up sweep your hand over the back of your kilt to make sure the pleats are flat
  4. It is a good idea to make sure your sporran is weighted down
  5. Most importantly have fun and enjoy all the attention you will get!

Bonnie Prince Charlie

You might choose this outfit for any formal occasion including weddings and black tie dinners. At Scottish weddings it is very popular for the groom and all the male guests to wear a kilt. The Bonnie Prince Charlie is also often worn at graduation ceremonies for Scottish universities.
Day Wear Tweed
The Tweed jacket and kilt with matching colours is increasingly popular. The colours on this outfit are usually blues and greens perfectly matching the colours of the Scottish countryside. You don’t need to have a formal occasion to attend when deciding to wear a kilt.
Casual and Fashion
There are loads of great kilt designs that have taken a modern twist on the kilt. The popularity of the kilt has increased as celebrities and fashion icons have been seen wearing kilts made in a variety of patterns and materials such as leather and cotton. This is a funky way to show your individuality!

For more information on St. Andrew’s Day head over to and have a bonnie day!

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