Celebrating Scotland's St Andrews Day

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This week marks an important holiday—and it has nothing to do with turkey!

Once you’ve had your fill of the American Thanksgiving, celebrate another holiday on November 30th: St. Andrew’s Day. Recognized in Scotland, St. Andrew’s Day is a time to honor the country, its traditions—and its food.

St Andrew, Scotland

To help your kids learn more about Scotland’s patron sake, whose name is synonymous with the holiday, check out this animated video about St. Andrew.

Then you might share with them some insights about the holiday from Darren Burgess, Scottish Affairs Attaché, British Embassy, Washington D.C.

How did St. Andrew’s Day come to be such an important day in Scotland?

St. Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s national day. Andrew was first recognized as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath [the declaration of Scottish independence].


Are there any activities that are just for kids?

Kids can embrace their Scottish roots and join in a kids’ ceilidh, or hear about the history of Scotland with a variety of storytelling sessions—there really is something for everyone on St Andrew’s Day.

[A ceilidh is the Gaelic term for a gathering of people with traditional folk music and dancing.]

Celebrating in Scotland

What are some of the traditional foods served on St. Andrew’s Day and why?

Scotland produces some of the best seafood in the world, so a seasonal fish dish is a great option to serve if entertaining. Saint Andrew was also a fisherman, so it’s a fitting way to pay tribute to the Patron Saint. Scotch lamb or haggis are both tasty, traditional dishes that are great in November and are hugely popular amongst Scots on St Andrew’s Day. Scotch Beef is also among the best in the world and a great versatile ingredient to use when hosting friends and family for dinner.

Rice pudding, Scotland

Rice pudding

If people want to hold their own St. Andrew’s Day celebration in their homes and they’re far from Scotland any quick tips for how they can?

Wherever you are in the world, St Andrew’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate all things Scottish. It’s an opportunity to host some family and friends and recreate some Scottish recipes. www.scotland.org/recipes.


For more information and fun St. Andrew's apps, visit http://www.scotland.org/celebrate-scotland/st-andrews-day


As for my family, I’ll be making Scottish Fruit & Nut bread from Chef Seamus McInnes for St. Andrew’s Day. Check in to MyKidsEatSquid for the recipe.

Scottish fruit and nut bread for St. Andrew's Day




Kristen J. Gough is the Global Cuisines & Kids Editor for Wandering Educators. She shares her family's adventurous food experiences--and recipes--at MyKidsEatSquid.com.


All photos courtesy and copyright Scotland.org, except fruit and nut bread, copyright My Kids Eat Squid

Note: this article was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2017