St. Andrew’s Day 28 November 2009Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Great Britain, Holidays, Symbols, UK.
Tags: customs, Great Britain, Holidays, patrons, Scotland, Symbols, UK, your turn
WHO IS THE PATRON SAINT OF SCOTLAND?
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 . In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday. Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, and Russia.
In parts of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew’s Day is specially suitable for magic that reveals a young woman’s future husband or that binds a future husband to her. Many such customs exist, for example the pouring of hot lead into water (in Poland, one usually pours hot wax from a candle through a key hole into cold water), divining the future husband’s profession from the shape of the resulting piece
In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St. Andrew’s Night”), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St. Andrew’s Prayer”), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Andrews”).
One of the most popular Polish traditions performed by young girls during the St. Andrew’s Night is pouring hot melted wax through a key into a bowl of cold water. After the wax has hardened, it is held up to the light and its shadow cast on the wall must be observed to guess the future. Usually the only light comes from a candle, which not only helps to read from the shadow but also to keep a mysterious atmosphere of this evening. While guessing the girl’s future for the upcoming year, it’s best to observe the shape of the shadow from different angles.
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