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St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.
St Andrew was credited with spreading the gospel to Romania, Greece and Russia, and is also their patron saint. Scotland is one of the few countries to have one of Christs disciples as their patron saint.
St Andrew was one of the Twelve Apostles (disciples of Jesus) and brother of St Peter.
St Andrew is believed to have died on a diagonally transversed cross which the Romans sometimes used for executions and which, therefore, came to be called St Andrews cross.
St Andrews Day is connected with Advent, which begins on the first Sunday after November 26.
St Andrews Day marks the opening of Christmas Markets, and many Midwinter customs and folk superstitions are also connected to this day.
Around midnight on November 29, it was traditional for girls to pray to St Andrew for a husband. They would make a wish and look for a sign that they had been heard.
A girl wishing to marry could:
Throw a shoe at a door. If the toe of the shoe pointed in the direction of the exit, then she would marry and leave her parents house within a year.
Peel a whole apple without breaking the peel and throw the peel over the shoulder. If the peel formed a letter of the alphabet, then this suggested the name of her future groom.
German folklore advises single women who wish to marry to ask for St Andrews help. The night before the 30th, if they sleep naked, they will see their future husbands in their dreams. Young women should also note the location of barking dogs on St Andrews Eve, as their future husbands will come from that direction.
St Andrew is also expected to look after gout, singers, sore throats, stiff necks, unmarried women, women who wish to become mothers, fish dealers, fishmongers, fishermen, old maids and more!
Many people wonder what they should eat on St Andrews Day. Any traditional Scottish food is fine haggis, neeps and tatties is enduringly popular. It used to be that a singed sheeps head was traditional!
1 lb neck of mutton;
2 quarts water
2 chopped onions
2 diced carrots
1 slice of turnip
pint green peas
1 medium cauliflower
1 teaspoon sugar
pepper to taste
Place the mutton, with bones, salt and water in a saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, then skim. Simmer 1 hour. Add onion, carrot, and turnip. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes, then chop and add lettuce, and peas. Divide cauliflower into small sprigs. Trim off stalks and add. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes till all the vegetables and meat are tender, then remove bones and meat. Add sugar, pepper and more salt as required. Serves 6. The mutton can be served as a separate course, delicious with chappit tatties and mashed neeps.
Last updated 30 Nov 1999