Scotland celebrates St Andrew’s Day

Scotland celebrates St Andrew's Day on Monday, 30 November, with a bank holiday and festivities across the country. Here are five little-known facts to mark the national day.
  1. St Andrew is not just the patron saint of Scotland, he is the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Amalfi in Italy, and Barbados. As well as other countries, he’s the patron saint of singers, unmarried women, and fishermen.
  2. Andrew was a fisherman before he and his brother Simon Peter became two of the 12 disciples. He was baptised by John the Baptist and was the first disciple of Jesus. In the Greek Orthodox tradition he is known as “the first-called”.
  3. St Andrew was crucified on 30 November 60AD, by order of the Roman governor Aegeas. He was tied to an X-shaped cross in Greece, and this has been represented by the white cross on the Scottish flag, called the Saltire, since at least 1385.
  4. Relics that people claim are of St Andrew, meant St Andrew’s, a town in Scotland, became a popular place of medieval pilgrimage up until the 16th century – when the relics were destroyed. In 1870, the Archbishop of Amalfi sent a piece of the saint’s remains to Scotland, where it is still stored in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.
  5. St. Andrew was not Scottish. The patron saint was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee, which is now Israel. His remains were moved 300 years after his death to Constantinople, now Istanbul, by the Emperor Constantine. He was revered in Scotland from around 1,000 AD, and became its official patron saint in 1320.

(adapted from St Andrew’s Day: 5 facts about St Andrew you need to know, The Independent newspaper, UK)

glossary

  • to baptize – bautizar
  • fisherman – el pescador
  • pilgrimage – la peregrinación
  • relic –  la reliquia
  • remains – el restos (mortales)
  • to revere – venerar

cognates

There are many words in English and Spanish that are the same or very similar.  These are called cognates (cognitados).

  • archbishop – el arzobispo
  • to crucify – crucificar
  • disciple – el discípulo
  • emperor – el emperador
  • festivity – la festividad
  • medieval – medieval
  • orthodox – ortodoxo
  • to represent – representar
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