St Andrews Day celebrations – nine best celebrations across Scotland

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St Andrew’s Day falls on November 30 and this year after many areas postponed or cancelled events, many live events are back on. A full array of exciting events have and will continue to take place across the nation involving dancing, music and much more. Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the top nine ways to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in Scotland.

Scottish people celebrate St Andrew’s Day in many different ways, but this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to restrict behaviour, it will be celebrated slightly differently from normal.

There are many St Andrew’s societies across the globe – all of which mark the occasion in their own nations.

Normally, celebrations with a special type of celebration called a cèilidh, pronounced “kay-lee”, are held.

These special events involve a lot of Scots engaging in country dancing.

In addition to this dancing, the day is often celebrated with bagpipe playing and traditional Scottish cuisine.

Best St Andrew’s Day celebrations

Glasgow

This year the streets of Glasgow will be lit up with torchlights.

The event begins with 90 minutes of entertainment at Glasgow Botanic Gardens including live music, fire performers, street theatre, kids hub and more.

The parade featuring a sea of lit torches then makes its way down Byres Road past many well-known sights.

The procession concludes at the South Front of the University of Glasgow, where there is scheduled to be another burst of entertainment.

Edinburgh

Summerhall Presents: Fair Play

In 2021, those looking to celebrate St Andrew’s Day will be able to attend a performing arts venue in Edinburgh to mark the occasion.

An international cultural event called Fair Saturday will take place today to celebrate some of the artists who have been involved with Summerhall’s Artist Development Programme.

There will be dances, spoken word performances, film screenings and music.

Historical tour

Those hoping to mark the occasion with a dram – can enjoy a tasting at The Real Mary King’s Cross.

During the 90-minute guided tour, visitors will get a taste of three special drams from across Scotland.

They will also delve into the history of the national drink and learn more about the more than 400-year history of whisky production in Scotland.

Musical festival St Giles Cathedral

Those who live in and around Edinburgh were able to celebrate the run-up to the special occasion with an evening of music and spoken word on Friday, November 26.

Spectators were able to enjoy special performances from the Scandinavian-Scottish genre-spanning duo, Marit and Rona, the Lothian Gaelic Choir and listen to the works of poet Catherine Wilson Garry.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Those in Edinburgh were also able to get into the St Andrew’s Day spirit on Sunday, November 28, at the Palace of Holyrood House.

The venue played host to a one-day special event with lots of activities to celebrate the nation including art, music, symbols and stories.

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St Andrews

A torchlight procession, spectacular fireworks display and an outdoor concert headlined by Dundee-born star Be Charlotte was held in St Andrews to mark St Andrew’s Day on Saturday, November 27.

The event, called Big Hoolie 2021, involved a torchlight parage and was led by the City of St Andrews Pipe Band.

Skye, Raasey and Lochalsh

Those looking to celebrate Saint Andrew were able to attend the SEALL Festival from November 19 to 27 this year.

The festival saw musicians visit community spaces across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh.

A celebration of island life and traditional music was displayed and there were daytime acoustic performances and evening concerts in some of the most remote rural venues in Scotland.

The festival ended on Saturday with the Big Cèilidh for St Andrew’s Night at the Sligachan Hotel.

Stirling (and online)

Those in Stirling and elsewhere will be able to celebrate St Andrew’s Day festival with the Caledonia Festival.

There will be a mix of free online virtual viewings on St Andrews Day with film, theatre and music as well as an in-person comedy event in Stirling on November 30.

The event will be hosted by Raymond Mearns and will feature Stuart Mitchell, Jay Lafferty and headliner Vladimir McTavish.

The Highlands

Live events were held across the Highlands from November 19 to 27 for the Blas Festival.

Those who attended were able to take advantage of a full roster of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, lectures and more, all designed to celebrate the music, songs, language and culture of the Scottish Highlands.

Why do people celebrate St Andrew’s Day?

People use November 30 each year to celebrate the patron saint of Scotland, Saint Andrew.

He was believed to have been born far away from Scotland in Galilee, which is now known as Israel.

Saint Andrew went on to become Jesus’ first disciple and was known as ‘Protokletos’, which means ‘first called.’

In 1320, St Andrew officially became the patron saint of Scotland when the country’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath.

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