Celebrating is something Scots do really well, and if there is one day of the year where you'll hear a lot of noise from us, it's St Andrew's Day. Scots and Scots-at-heart come together to celebrate the patron saint of Scotland and our national day with a holiday and fantastic events, which showcase the very best of Scottish culture.
St Andrew's Day Activities and Events
So, when is St Andrew's Day, and what's on in 2021? This important Scottish day of celebration falls on the 30 November - and this year live events are back! You'll be able to enjoy a varied programme of events and festivals, featuring uniquely Scottish line-ups of music, dance, culture and more.
St Andrew's Day Celebrations in Edinburgh
Summerhall Presents: Fair Play - 30 November 2021
Make this St Andrew's Day one to remember with Summerhall Presents: Fair Play. Working alongside Fair Saturday, the Summerhall performing arts theatre is bringing together the very best local talent for one night only. There's a wide array of performances, including dance from Katie Armstrong with HAND//SHAKE, a special screening of a new short film, Auntie Empire, created by Julia Taudevin, Niamh McKeown and Jana Robert, and a surprise musical performance. Book now to avoid disappointment!
St Andrew's Day Celebration - 28 November 2021 at Palace of Holyroodhouse
Looking for ways to entertain the whole family this St Andrew's Day? The Palace of Holyroodhouse have got you covered! The attraction is hosting a special one-day event with lots of activities on offer to celebrate Scottish art, music, symbols and stories. Get crafty by making your own felt thistle, show off your artistic flair and replicate a famous royal portrait, listen to traditional Scottish music or enjoy a history lesson on Scotland's most famous symbols.
Celebrating Scotland's saint with music - 26 November 2021 at St Giles Cathedral
Bringing music to everyone's ears is the historic St Giles Cathedral. Enjoy an evening of music and spoken word in the lead up to St Andrew's Day with special performances from Scandinavian-Scottish genre-spanning duo, Marit and Rona, the Lothian Gaelic Choir and listen to the works of poet Catherine Wilson Garry.
Other St Andrew's Day Events Across Scotland
The Big Hoolie, St Andrews - 27 November 2021
Head to the town of St Andrews for an unforgettable celebration of our patron saint! The Big Hoolie will include a local market with arts and crafts, live entertainment from Kingdom FM, an outdoor ceilidh, and more! The City of St Andrews Pipe Band will lead a torch parade through the town and down to the iconic West Sands for a magnificent fireworks display.
SEALL Festival of Small Halls 2021, Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh - 19 - 27 November 2021
This year's SEALL Festival takes place over nine days, bringing Scotland's finest musicians to community spaces across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh. A celebration of island life and traditional music, there will be daytime acoustic performances and evening concerts in some of the most remote rural venues in Scotland. The festival ends on Saturday 27 November with the Big Cèilidh for St Andrew's Night at the Sligachan Hotel.
Caledonia Festival, Stirling and online - 30 November 2021
The Caledonia Festival will be a mix of free online virtual viewings on St Andrews Day with film, theatre and music as well as an in-person comedy event in Stirling on 30 November, hosted by the brilliant Raymond Mearns, and featuring Stuart Mitchell, Jay Lafferty and headliner Vladimir McTavish.
Blas Festival - 19-27 November 2021
Live events are back at this year's Blas Festival. Enjoy a jam-packed programme full of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, lectures and more, all designed to celebrate the music, songs, language and culture of the Scottish Highlands. Unable to attend in person? No problem! The festival will also be live-streaming events, so you don't miss out on all the fun.
Fair Saturday Festival - 26 - 30 November 2021
Every year Fair Saturday brings together international culture and social leaders to raise awareness of how culture and social innovation is key in creating positive communities. This global cultural movement is seeing more and more cities joining each year, creating a unique day and building bridges between people and cities.
St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade - 27 November 2021 at Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Glasgow is getting ready to light up for this year's St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade. Enjoy a night of entertainment at Glasgow Botanic Gardens where you'll be dazzled by fire performers, street theatre, live music and of course the parade itself. Fancy being part of the crowd? Buy a torch along with your entry ticket. The parade will start off at Glasgow Botanic Garden and make its way down Byres Road passing many well-known attractions before ending at the South Front of the University of Glasgow.
St Andrew's Day FAQ's
What is St Andrew's Day?
St Andrew's Day is the feast day of Andrew the Apostle and is celebrated every year in Scotland on the 30 November. In 1320, St Andrew officially became the patron saint of Scotland when the country's independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath.
Is St Andrew's Day a Public Holiday?
Yes. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament declared St Andrew's Day a bank holiday. Although it is not law, most Scottish employers are left to decide whether to give their staff a day off and close for the day. If the 30 November falls on the weekend, staff are given the Friday or Monday off work.
What are the most common St Andrew's Day traditions?
St Andrew's Day celebrates the very best of Scottish culture with lots of delicious food and drink, music and ceilidh dancing, with parties going into the wee small hours of the night.
What are common St Andrew's Day Games?
Get creative at home and spruce up your living space with these fun St Andrew's Day crafts. From Scottie Dog mobiles to making your very own saltire collage. There's lots to keep wee and big bairns entertained!
What are common St Andrew's Day songs?
- Liberty sung by The Corries
- Loch Lomond performed by Runrig
- Scots Wha Hae, written by Robert Burns, sung by Dick Gaughan
- The Wild Geese/Norland Wind sung by Jim Reid
What is St Andrew's Day Food?
Scotland's food and drink plays a big part on St Andrew's Day. For starters, the traditional soup dish cullen skink is often served; made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. When it comes to the main course, there can only one dish to celebrate Scotland's patron saint, haggis, neeps (turnip), and tatties (mashed potato). Dessert is a dish best served hot especially on cold winter nights, round off your feast with clootie dumpling and custard. A traditional Scottish dessert made of dried fruit, spices, oatmeal or breadcrumbs, flour, and beef suet. The word 'clootie' derives from the Old Scots word 'cloth' where the dumpling was traditionally boiled.