The flag of Scotland is also known as the flag of St Andrew (St. Andrew’s flag and also The Saltire) since medieval times, as the white cross on the flag represents the cross on which Saint Andrew was crucified on 30 November (60 DC). St Andrew´s Day is celebrated in different countries on November 30.
Saint Andrew was first recognized as patron of Scotland in 1320, and the city of Saint Andrews, where the relics were preserved, became a place of pilgrimage. Although the relics were destroyed during the Scottish Reformation, in 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi gave to Scotland a new relic, which today can seen at St Mary‘s Cathedral in Edinburgh.
St Andrew became Scotland´s patron because one night of the year 832, before a battle against the Angles, the saint appeared and announced to the King Angus II that he would win. The following morning, on the battlefield, a white cross in the form of X appeared in the blue sky, and the Picts, encouraged, were victorious.
According to tradition, St. Andrew‘s martyrdom took place on November 30 of the year 60 in the Greek city of Patras, where the saint was tied to a shaped cross by order of the Roman governor Aegean. After a few centuries in Patras, St. Andrew´s burial was moved to Constantinople, and then to Amalfi.
St Andrew, the younger brother of Peter, was a fisherman from Bethsaida, in northern Israel today. The saint was the first of the twelve apostles of Jesus of Nazareth to be called. He became the first bishop of Byzantium. Therefore, St. Andrew is consider to be the patron saint of the Orthodox Church.
Today, St Andrew‘s Day is a synonym of tradition, culture and pride. The thistle, The Saltire,the rampant lion and the kilt, are symbols of Scotland. People from all corners of the world gather to celebrate a date with deep roots in the Christian tradition.
The Scottish flag is hoisted and waves in buildings; some museums and attractions offer free or discounted entry; people gather to dance; and the cities are filled with poetry, music and activities for all ages. In other countries celebrations take place; around 50 million people worldwide have Scottish blood.
In Scotland, St Andrew‘s Day is a bank holiday, national holiday. This special day also opens the season of winter festivals, serving as a prelude to different important dates as Hogmanay or Burns Night. St Andrew´s Day is celebrated on November 30.
On November 30 St Andrew´s Day is celebrated. Its is a special day, and a tribute to the traditions, culture and Scottish heritage which is heard far beyond its borders. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland (and also Greece, Russia, Ukraine and Barbados, among other places).
St Andrew´s day is a tribute to Scottish culture and heritage.
Throughout the centuries, Scottish roots have spread to the most unexpected place on earth. November 30 is a date when ancestral connections to the land of lakes and castles resonate more strongly than ever.