Girls should kick a straw mattress to attract a future husband, and pour molten wax into water to see what the future holds (or download an App from iTunes).

When: November 30th.
Where: Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland, France, Germany and Austria.

Saint Andrew was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and is most famously the patron saint of Scotland. His feast day November 30th is also Scotland’s official national day.

After Andrew’s death his remains were preserved by the faithful and have had a somewhat eventful history with various body parts now being in different locations around the world. One story goes that St Rule was ordered to take the Saint’s bones to Constantinople but in fact brought them to Scotland, having been warned by an angel in a dream that he must take the Saint’s bones to “the ends of the Earth”. However they arrived, it is known that some of St Andrew’s relics, including a tooth and one of his kneecaps, were being venerated by pilgrims at the town of St Andrews around the 11th century, although no one knows exactly what happened to them. Pope Paul VI presented a portion of St Andrew’s relics to Scotland in 1969 with the words “Saint Peter gives you his brother”, and they now reside at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and Constantinople. In Germany and Austria, the Saint’s feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (St. Andrew’s Night) with the custom of Andreasgebet (St. Andrew’s Prayer). Among his many responsibilities, St Andrew is the patron Saint of unmarried women and so Andreasnacht is regarded as a time when young girls and unmarried women perform the various folkloric rituals to reveal the identity of their future husband. Pouring molten wax into water is meant to reveal the shape of a girls future in the shape off the wax. Alternatively kicking a straw bed, while reciting the Andreasgebet (St Andrew’s Prayer) is supposed to magically attract the future husband. Another custom is to throw a clog over the shoulder – if it lands pointing to the door, the girl will get married in the same year.

St Andrew’s Day app

St Andrew's Day app

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with this free iPhone and Android app from Search for events in Scotland and find out what is happening across the rest of the world to celebrate Scotland’s national day.

Get ideas to host your own celebration – including recipes, a whisky tasting guide and a special St Andrew’s Day music playlist. Or why not gen up on your Scottish knowledge with our animated history of St Andrew.

Download it for FREE from the iTunes app store

Download it for FREE from the Android Market

more ideas:

Try this St.Andrew’s Day Quiz

Design your own tartan

Plant a tree – it is National Tree Week

Bake some shortbread

Explore Scotland’s history online

Make your own Lewis Chessmen