Main: Scottish Music for St Andrew’s Day

Today, Novem­ber 30, is Saint Andrew’s Day, and we’ll be play­ing a pro­gramme con­sist­ing of a wide vari­ety of Scot­tish music — from Scot­tish folk artists to bag­pipe bands and much more.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scot­land, and St. Andrew’s Day is cel­e­brat­ed by Scots around the world on the 30th Novem­ber. The flag of Scot­land is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is wide­ly dis­played as a sym­bol of nation­al iden­ti­ty.

Very lit­tle is real­ly known about St. Andrew him­self. He was thought to have been a fish­er­man in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder broth­er Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became fol­low­ers (apos­tles) of Jesus Christ, founder of the Chris­t­ian reli­gion.

St. Andrew is said to have been respon­si­ble for spread­ing the tenets of the Chris­t­ian reli­gion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tra­di­tion sug­gests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, South­ern Greece by being pinned to a cross (cru­ci­fied). The diag­o­nal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scot­tish flag.

St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years lat­er were moved by Emper­or Con­stan­tine (the Great) to his new cap­i­tal Con­stan­tino­ple (now Istan­bul in Turkey). Leg­end sug­gests that a Greek monk (although oth­ers describe him as an Irish assis­tant of St. Colum­ba) called St. Rule (or St. Reg­u­lus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was direct­ed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the “ends of the earth” for safe-keep­ing. St. Rule duti­ful­ly fol­lowed these direc­tions, remov­ing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fin­gers from St. Andrew’s tomb and trans­port­ing these as far away as he could. Scot­land was close to the extrem­i­ties of the know world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was ship­wrecked with his pre­cious car­go.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pic­tish set­tle­ment on the East Coast of Scot­land and this lat­er became St. Andrews. Thus the asso­ci­a­tion of St. Andrew with Scot­land was said to have begun.

Per­haps more like­ly than the tale of St. Rule’s jour­ney is that Acca, the Bish­op of Hex­ham, who was a reknown col­lec­tor of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There cer­tain­ly seems to have been a reli­gious cen­tre at St. Andrews at that time, either found­ed by St. Rule in the 6th cen­tu­ry or by a Pic­tish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 — 761.

Whichev­er tale is true, the relics were placed in a spe­cial­ly con­struct­ed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathe­dral of St. Andrews in 1160, and St. Andrews became the reli­gious cap­i­tal of Scot­land and a great cen­tre for Medi­ae­val pil­grims who came to view the relics.

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