St Andrew’s Day

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Andrew the Apostle; 19th century  by F… | Catholic church stained glass, Andrew the apostle, Stained glass  church

St Andrew’s Day has been celebrated in Scotland for centuries and more recently it has been marked as an official holiday on 30th November. According to the New Testament, Saint Andrew was a fisherman from Galilee and the brother of Saint Peter. They became the first of Jesus’ disciples. Like Jesus, Andrew was martyr for his beliefs but refused the T shaped cross of Jesus, and therefore a X shaped cross was used instead.

Legend states that Saint Regulus travelled to Scotland with some of the bones of the martyred Andrew and laid them in an area that became St Andrews. The burial site became the the home for St Andrew’s Cathedral, which began construction in 1158. It was the largest church in Scotland and took over a century to complete. Poor weather badly damaged the church over years and by 1559 it was completely destroyed by the Scottish Reformation, which also destroyed St Andrew’s relics. The Archbishop of Amalfi kindly donated a piece of should bone that had been St Andrew’s to the town to make sure a part of the saint would forever remain in Scotland.

As the patron Saint of Scotland, St Andrew’s Day is celebrated every year on 30th November. This was thought to be the day that he was crucified and has been celebrated with feasting since 1000 AD. In more recent years it has become a celebration of Scotland and Scottish culture and still to this day involves a lot of food.

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