St Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day, and what better way to spend it than in the town namesake of Scotland’s patron saint?
St. Andrews turns into a hive of activity on Saint Andrew’s Day, and 2018 will be no different! From markets to ceilidhs, live music and fireworks- these St Andrews Day activities will appeal to everyone.
Do you need accommodation while celebrating St. Andrews Day? St. Andrews Tourist Hostel has beds for as little as £11 per night!
Who was St. Andrew?
Saint Andrew (whose name means ‘strength’ or ‘manliness’) was a very charismatic Galilean fisherman who was known for having great social skills. He was responsible for introducing the first foreigners to Jesus, and encouraged a large crowd of 5000 people to share their food with their neighbours.
He was the brother of Saint Peter, and this allowed the people of Scotland to appeal to the Pope at this time for protection against the English king who was trying to conquer Scotland. He was given his saintly honour when Scotland signed the Declaration of Arbroath (that cemented the country’s independence) in 1320.
St. Andrews, the town, was named after him as it is believed to be his final resting place. His supposed relics were discovered on the site of where St. Andrews Cathedral (once Scotland’s largest church) was built. David I built was responsible for building the cathedral and named it after the saint. Scotland’s flag also bears the saint’s Saltire Cross- the ‘St Andrew’s Cross’.
The Scottish are well-known for their friendliness and having some of the best hospitality in the world, so it is fitting that Saint Andrew was named their patron saint!
St. Andrew’s Day is celebrated every year on November 30, and is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture that includes ceilidh dancing, music, food and drink.
Friday – November 30
Free entry to Historic Sites
On St. Andrews Day there are a number of attractions in town which are free to get into. This includes St. Andrews Cathedral, St. Andrews Castle, and The British Golf Museum. St. Andrew’s Day is also the only day of the year that you can visit the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse.
Beating of the Retreat ceremony
Where: South Street
A Beating Retreat is an ancient military ceremony which was first used to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle. A St. Andrews tradition not to be missed!
St. Andrews Day Ceilidh
Where: Forgan’s St. Andrews
Head to Forgan’s for a free ceilidh to celebrate St. Andrews Day in style!
Saturday – December 1
Time: 11:00- 16:00
Where: Madras Lawn, St Andrews
The market stalls will showcase local produce, food and drink, craft and societies from the University of St Andrews.
This element of the day is in partnership with the Community Relations team, enhancing relations between town and gown.
Live music and entertainment
Time: Throughout the day
Where: Madras Lawn/ West Port, St Andrews
There will be a variety of live music and entertainment throughout the day from the students of St. Andrews University and locals from the community.
Where: Westport/ South Street
Take to the streets for some traditional Scottish song and dance! The Kilrymont Ceilidh Band will be entertaining one of the largest outdoor street ceilidh’s in Scotland.
Where: West port/ South Street
At the conclusion of the street ceilidh, a torch parade and procession will head towards the harbour.
Where: St Andrew’s Harbour
After the Torch Parade, there will be an awesome fireworks display down at the harbour.
For more information on events in St. Andrews celebrating St. Andrews Day, visit standrewsday.com