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St. Andrew’s Day

November 30, 2012 by  

St. Andrew’s Day, St. Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on the 30th of November in Scotland. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew’s Day (Scots: Saunt Andra’s Day, Scottish Gaelic: Latha Naomh Anndra) is Scotland’s official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, at least in the English-speaking world, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St Andrew’s Night”), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St Andrew’s Prayer”), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Little Andrews”–diminutive).

In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, which designated the Day as an official bank holiday. If 30 November falls on a weekend, the next Monday is a bank holiday instead.

The notion that the day should be an official bank holiday was first proposed by Dennis Canavan, Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk West in 2003. However, the Bill he introduced to the Parliament was initially rejected as the Executive did not support it. A compromise deal was reached whereby the holiday would not be an additional entitlement. Then First Minister, Jack McConnell, stated that he believed that employers and employees should mark the day with a holiday, but that this should be as a substitute for an existing local holiday, rather than an additional one.

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