A very happy St Andrew's Day to all our Scottish members; how will you be celebrating this year?
Not only the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew also serves as the patron saint of Russia, Cyprus, Greece, and Colombia, among others. The tradition of celebrating the feast of St Andrew in Scotland dates back to the reign of Malcolm III, 1034-1093, but wasn't commonly celebrated on 30 November until the 18th century.
The modern day celebration actually began when a group of Scottish expatriates, living the US and wanting to reconnect with their roots, in South Carolina in 1729.
Following St Andrew's example of philanthropic giving, the trend spread to New York, where Scotsmen and women helped the poor and destitute of the city in his name. From these beginnings, Scots around the world spread the celebration of St Andrews Day, making it into the popular winter celebration it is today, with the Saltire flying proudly, not just in Scotland, but in Scottish communities across the globe.
The Saltire cross of St Andrew dates back to the earliest days of the emerging nation of Scotland. During the reign of King Angus of the Picts, from 820 to 834, legend has it that the king saw the cross in a dream the night before a battle with the Saxons. The following morning, he was filled with confidence that his men could defeat the Saxons in the name of St Andrew, and since this time he and his Saltire Cross have become national symbols for the country.