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Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland


St Andrew's Day falls on November 30th and is a bank holiday in Scotland. The holiday is on Monday December 1st or 2nd if November 30th is a Saturday or Sunday.

The Scottish flag 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 groups. In Glasgow city centre, a large shindig, or party, with traditional music and a ceilidh are held.

There is a lot of folklore associated with St Andrew's Day, particularly around young women who hope to marry. At midnight, as November 29th becomes November 30th, young women 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 candle wax into a bucket of water. The shape that it formed indicated the profession of the men they would marry.

St Andrew has been recognized as the patron saint of Scotland since at least the ninth century.

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