St. Andrew day
St Andrew's Day, the 30th of November, is marked by celebrations
around the globe. Many cities hold celebrations of St. Andrew's
feast day, and his status as patron saint of fishermen is observed
with a feast of St. Andrew in fishing villages as well.
Germany and Austria have their own traditions and folklore surrounding St Andrews
Day, or Andreasnacht as it is known to locals. St. Andrews feast
day is near to, and some years coincides with, the start of Advent
(the first Sunday following the 26th of November) Among his many
responsibilities, St Andrew is patron saint of unmarried women,
so Andreasnacht is regarded as a particularly auspicious occasion
for girls and young women to perform the various folkloric rituals
designed to reveal the identity of future husbands. Austrian Girls
would traditionally perform the ritual, which might be anything
from divining by pouring molten lead into water, to kicking a straw
bed in the nude, while reciting the Andreasgebet or St.
Andrew's Prayer. All the while looking for a lucky sign of love
at their feast of St. Andrew.
St Andrew's Day, however, is best known as a celebration of Scottish
culture. Since 2006, it has been officially recognized as a national
holiday in Scotland, with events such as celebratory St. Andrew
Feast dinners happening around the nation, and is marked around
the world by the many St Andrew's Societies from the Americas to
the Far East composed of Scottish expatriates, descendents of the
Scots diaspora, and others who simply have an interest in all things
Scottish. The town of St. Andrews celebrates its patron in style
with the weeklong St. Andrews Festival, incorporating music, arts,
dance and drama.
You and your family can celebrate your own Saint Andrew feast. Let
the main course be fish and perhaps include some Scottish traditions.
Giving your guests St. Andrew's medals or jewelry is a special way
to honor St. Andrew and your guests
on this day. Recite the prayers of St. Andrew, reflecting on how
he lived his life, the first-called apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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