Scotland celebrates all winter long, with unique celebrations kicking off with fireworks on Bonfire Night on November 4 and culminating in Burns’ Night on January 25. Whether you are Scottish, or just Scottish at heart, no matter where you are in the world you can enjoy the spirit of the season!
St Andrew’s Day
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. A Galilean fisherman, he became an apostle of Jesus, and was known for being strong, sociable and fair, encouraging people to share what they had with those in need.
Originally St Andrew’s Day was a way for homesick Scots to get together and celebrate their shared ancestral roots. The official national day began in America on 30 November 1729 to offer support to Scottish migrants in distress.
Today St Andrew’s Day presents a powerful opportunity for Scots to keep the spirit of St Andrew alive, by coming together and helping others within their community.
There are many ways to get involved and celebrate Scotland’s cultural strengths and core values this St Andrew’s Day. A wide range of events will take place across Scotland from Friday 17th November until 3rd December and full details of these and ways to support local communities can be found on www.scotland.org.
Image courtesy of VisitScotland
Wherever you are in the world, you can join Scotland in celebrating St Andrew’s Day – from the United States and Canada to Australia, from Beijing to Bangladesh.
Scotland is world-renowned as the home of Hogmanay, celebrated on 31 December. Fire festivals, torchlight processions, street parties, live music, fireworks and a friendly welcome to all, really make Scotland the best place in the world to see in the New Year.
Scotland boasts a wide variety of Hogmanay celebrations, from large scale events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which attracted over 140,000 visitors last year from over 70 countries to smaller, regional gatherings.
Scotland is renowned for its Hogmanay traditions with people celebrating in pubs, clubs and village halls across the country or hosting their own events at home that embrace tradition - first footers bringing coal, or sharing a dram with friends at midnight.
Burns, our national bard, is one of Scotland’s favourite icons encapsulating the very essence that makes Scots Scottish – creative, proud and confident.
Robert Burns, or ‘Rabbie’ as he is affectionately known, was born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, in 1759. He began writing poetry and songs at an early age and became famous across Scotland for his writings.
After his death at the age of just 37, Rabbie’s works became internationally renowned and to this day, people from all corners of the world sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to bring in the New Year.
Every year Scots and Scots are heart from across the global celebrate Burns’ birthday, 25th January, to end the Winter Festival period. This national day has always been steeped in tradition and valued as a natural way of feeling truly Scottish by celebrating Burns’ life and cultural legacy by coming together with friends or family and partake in a Burns Supper.
A Burns Supper is often an engaging spectacle. The haggis is traditionally piped in to dinner and then specifically addressed in poetry. Further poems including ‘A Toast to the Lassies’ are exchanged by dinner guests with accompanying drams of whisky, however there are many modern variations and twists on these traditions that befits Scotland, a country that champions fairness, equality and inclusivity.