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St Andrews Day – 30th November

Also known as ‘Andermas’ or ‘the Feast of Saint Andrew’, St Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day which commemorates the disciple of the New Testament within Christianity. According to Christian teachings, Saint Andrew was one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples and St Andrew’s Day is an annual celebration dedicated to his legacy.

Similar to St Patrick’s Day in Ireland or St David’s Day in Wales, this national day brings together Scots and their families to celebrate Scottish culture with a variety of events. It is a public holiday in Scotland. Celebrated with ceilidhs (traditional music and dance), parades and Scottish food like haggis, neeps and tatties. According to The Scottish Sun, Glasgow will also have hundreds of pipe bands, punters and fire dancers coursing through the city’s West End for the St Andrew’s Day.

Lead light window showing St Andrew

When we think of Scotland, we imagine Scotsmen draped in tartan or plaid, commonly known as a Kilt. The tartan kilt has been the traditional costume of Scots from the sixteenth century however these garments are worn by the Irish as well.

Traditionally the garment resembles a wrap-around knee-length skirt, made of twill woven worsted wool with heavy pleats at the sides and back and traditionally a tartan pattern. The small kilt or modern kilt emerged in the 18th century and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt.

Example of a Scottish Kilt

As time progressed, wearing tartan was viewed by the English as extremism and a symbol of Scottish nationalism. Due to the feelings of the dominance of British culture it was decided that they needed to restrict the wearing of the kilt and tartan. In mid-1700 they brought in the Dress Act to restrict the wearing of this Highland clothing. By 1783 the Dress Act was repealed and during Queen Victoria’s reign, tartan and the kilt became popular throughout the United Kingdom as a fashion of English Society, not just as a Scottish Nationalist costume.


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