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Tomorrow Is St Andrews Day

St Andrew's Day falls on November 30, and is a bank holiday in Scotland.

The Scottish flag, or Saltire, is flown on public buildings in Scotland on St Andrew's Day. In the rest of the United Kingdom, the British Union Flag is flown. Some people have a day off work in Scotland. In Edinburgh, there is a week of celeb­ra­tions, concen­trating on musical enter­ta­inment and traditional ceilidh dancing. A ceilidh is a social event with couples dancing in circles or sets (groups of eight people). In Glasgow city centre, a large shindig, or party, with traditional music and a ceilidh are held. In Dumfries, songs are performed in the Burn's night tradition.

There is a lot of folklore associated with St Andrew's Day, particularly around young women, who hope to marry. At midnight, as November 29 becomes November 30, young woman prayed to be shown signs about their future husbands. They peeled an apple in such a way that the peel remained in a single piece and threw this over their shoulders. The shape that the peel formed on the ground indicated the first letter of their future husbands' names. They also dropped molten lead or candle wax into a bucket of water. The shape that it formed indicated the profession of the men they would marry.

Background

St Andrew was born in Bethesda on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and was the younger brother of St Peter. Both he and his brother became disciples of Jesus. He is said to have died bound to an “X” shaped cross at Patras in Achea in Greece. This shape is now reflected in the Scottish flag, known as the Saltire. St Andrew has been recognized as the patron saint of Scotland since at least the ninth century.

The bill to make St Andrew's Day a bank holiday in Scotland was first introduced in 2003.

  

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