St. Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday. It is also a national holiday in Romania (since 2015).
The celebration of St Andrew as a national festival is thought to originate from the reign of Malcolm III (1034–1093). It was thought that ritual slaughter of animals associated with Samhain was moved to this date, so as to assure enough animals were kept alive for winter. But it is only in more recent times that the 30 November has been given national holiday status.
In Scotland, and many countries with Scottish connections, St Andrew’s Day is marked with a celebration of Scottish culture with traditional Scottish food, music and dance. In Scotland the day is also seen as the start of a season of Scottish winter festivals encompassing St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night. There are week-long celebrations in the town of St Andrews and in some other Scottish cities.
It is said that when Saint Andrew was crucified he requested it to be on a soltire, or X shaped cross, because he deemed himself unworthy of using Christ’s cross. This is why the Scottish flag has an X on it.