Saturday, November 12, 2011

St. Andrew's Day is November 30th

St. Andrew's Day has been November 30th for a really long time. However, it hasn't been celebrated in a big way, either in Scotland or by the Diaspora. For the latter, Burn's Night and Highland Games were the important events for maintaining identity and links with Scotland. Recently, when people were trying to pick a date for Tartan Day, November 30th was deemed to cold and not a good time for parades. Since it snowed at my house on Veteran's Day, I can't say that I blame them. 

But there seems to be a renewal of interest in St. Andrew and his Day and this month Team Scotland has released an App to provide information, ways to celebrate and events to attend. Details about the St. Andrew's Day App and links to download it are here. The app includes a database of activities in Scotland. Events occurring outside Scotland are available via a weblink. Take the time, less than two minutes, to watch a cute video about St. Andrew. Apparently, he migrated to Scotland, or at least his bones did. There is a guide to hosting your own event which includes information about food, whisky, music, and what to wear. The music section has a Spotify link and a list of nine songs (most of which I didn't recognize). The final section, what to wear, is all about The Kilt.

As you might know The Kilt is worn by men. This fact reminded me that I read somewhere (Celeste Ray, I think) that Scottish Heritage, at least in the United States, is all about being "manly." I'm not certain I agree with this assessment as there are many other ways to maintain links with an ancestral homeland. I am partial to foodways. On the other hand, many Scottish organizations used to be for men only, the national dress is for men, and many of the "big" events at Highland Games are for men. However, I'm not sure how this makes Scotland different from any other country where power and cultural symbols are controlled by men. 

Not listed in the St. Andrew's Day App is the St. Andrews and Caledonian Society Special 125th Anniversary Event at Simon Fraser University. On Wednesday, 30 November, Dr. Gerard Carruthers (Director, Robert Burns Centre, U. of Glasgow) will present "The Unpseakable Scot: The Image of the Scot in the Media." Everyone is welcome, and there is no charge for this event.

On the other hand, if just want to stay home but want to do something St. Andrews-y, you can sign-up for Scotland Exchange, they are trying to reach 500 members by 30 November or you can follow @standrewsday on Twitter.

with thanks to @ScotlandExchang

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