St Andrew’s Day

Image of St AndrewHappy St Andrew’s Day! Today Scotland raises a dram (and rolls out the fireworks) to the country’s patron saint.

Andrew’s been the patron saint of Scotland since about the middle of the 10th century. According to legend, his relics were brought to the Pictish king, Oengus mac Fergusa, in the 8th century. Around 100 years later, Oengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, which were under the command of Aethelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The heavily outnumbered Oengus vowed to appoint Saint Andrew patron saint of Scotland if he won the battle. The next day, as the armies were forming, white clouds formed an X in the sky.

scottish flag
Kind of like this

Guess who won the battle? Oengus stood by his word and Andrew became Scotland’s patron saint. The allegedly divine cloud formation was immortalised on Scotland’s flag, the Saltire. The X was also used by superstitious Scots to keep witches from flying down their chimneys.

Thanks Andrew! Now, off to the castle for the party!

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