November 30, 2008

Happy St. Andrew's Day???

More like Happy Free Animals Day! Saturday night there was another random parade at the castle, followed by magnificent fireworks over The Mound. Someone told us they were to kick off St. Andrew’s Day. What is St. Andrew’s Day, you might ask? Well, I asked the same question, and still haven’t found a satisfying answer. The best explanation I can give is that it’s like a National Day, where they just celebrate being Scottish. There were a lot of Scottish flags involved. It’s kind of like the way we would celebrate being American on the 4th of July. But we specifically celebrate our independence from Britain with BBQs and fireworks… On St. Andrew’s Day, Britain is just celebrating itself, but the fireworks and parade were the day before. On the actual day, nothing happened, except that the zoo had free admission (which we took advantage of, naturally). But there were no more fireworks or parades, no big events or festivals. No BBQs. Nothing. The day after St. Andrew's Day, Monday, stores and shops were closed (which was super inconvenient for me, since no one warned me ahead of time). So to sum up, nothing actually happens on St. Andrew’s Day. It is just a glorified bank holiday the day after, with one meager parade and a couple fireworks the day before.

Fireworks over the castle on The Mound

This is all Wikipedia gave me (not much more of a help, except to discover that it only became a bank holiday two years ago!): "St. Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day (although Burns' Night is more widely-observed). In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated the St. Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday."

me and the penguins at Edinburgh Zoo

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