The festivities are enjoyed annually by Scots everywhere in celebration of the venerated patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew
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 those with an affinity for Scotland come together to celebrate the patron saint of Scotland and our national day, November 30, with fantastic events which showcase the very best of Scottish culture.
Here in Kuala Lumpur, a great evening of traditional celebrations was enjoyed at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The local Malaysian St Johns Alumni pipe band entertained us, before Clappy Doo, a ceilidh band flown in specially from Scotland, got us all up on the dance floor to work off the effects of our excellent dinner, which included haggis, neeps, and tatties.
St Andrew is Scotland’s patron saint, but who was he, and how did he get this prestigious honour?
As one of the 12 apostles, St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland for well over a thousand years, with feasts being held in his honour as far back as the year 1000.
However, it wasn’t until 1320, when Scotland’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint.
Since then, St Andrew has become part of all things Scottish. The flag of Scotland – the St Andrew’s Cross or Saltire – was chosen in honour of him. Also, the ancient town of St Andrews was named due to its claim of being his final resting place.
Despite the fact that St Andrew has been Scotland’s patron saint for so many years, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the popular celebration of his day became commonplace. What might surprise you even more is that the tradition of celebrating him was started, not in Scotland, but by Scots who had emigrated to the United States and were keen to reconnect with their Scottish roots.
Following on from these early celebrations, St Andrew’s societies spread globally as Scots travelled and settled around the world. Indeed, the Selangor St Andrews Society have been hosting such events in Malaysia since forming in 1887.
Looking ahead to 2023, come and join us at the annual Burns Night on Saturday, January 28 at the Four Seasons hotel in KLCC, where we celebrate the memory of Robert “Rabbie” Burns, Scotland’s world-famous bard!
This post contributed by Alan Wallace, St Andrew’s Society. Below are just a few photos from the recent St Andrew’s Day celebration!
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