Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Saint Andrew's Day

by : 
LouiseH

November 30th is celebrated across Scotland as Saint Andrew’s Day and is also a national holiday in Scotland. Despite having never stepped foot in Scotland while alive, Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland as well as of Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Saint Andrew, Barbados!

According to the Christian religion, Saint Andrew, whose name means ‘strong,’ was originally a Galilean fisherman and one of the first disciples of Jesus Christ. He was the brother of Saint Peter, the founder of the Christian Church and spent many years preaching the Gospel. When he died, his relics were sailed across the sea from Greece and buried in Scotland, in a town now called Saint Andrew’s. The Scottish flag is even inspired by Saint Andrew and is called the Saint Andrew’s Cross.

On Saint Andrew’s Day schools across Scotland hold special events to celebrate, such as meals, singing, dances, storytelling and Scottish poetry readings. The day is often celebrated with family and friends with traditional Scottish food (like ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ – which is a dish of haggis, turnips and potatoes) and traditional Scottish music such as the bagpipes or the clarsach (which is a small harp). People also host ceilidhs which are Scottish country dances which often go on late into the night.

Saint Andrew’s Day is a significant part of Scottish culture and over the years has become a part of Scotland’s identity. Since moving to a small town in the south-west of France three months ago, I have learned that local festivals and celebrations are a huge part of local identity although they may seem strange to begin with! I would love to learn more about your local or national holidays, festivals and celebrations; how you celebrate them and what they mean to you.

Discussion

Tell us about a national holiday in your country. 

Comments

Lavender's picture
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Lavender 5 December, 2015 - 16:24

It's December already and reading this article made me feel so festive. We don't ceclebrate Xmas in my country but I'm still looking foward to it. Can't wait.

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 1 December, 2015 - 12:05

Which job do you like most ?
I know a job, it's very difficult but it's said to be the greatest career in my country. If you want to finish it excellently , you need to have a beautiful mind, a warm heart, eyes open, your kindness and patience are limitless. Can you guess what it is ? Oh, I just would like to mention to Teaching and teachers.I would like to recommend a day which is more meaningful than national holidays in my country. It's Vietnamese teachers' Day (20/11)

Annually on 20th November, most schools in Vietnam celebrate big anniversaries as a way to say " thanks" to teachers and it's an opportunity for students to show their love, admiration and respect to their teachers as well. We still go to school as usually but we don't have to study and do any exercises. Our teachers and we take part in a lively music festival at school and together perform the songs that we like. During the time occurring the anniversary, our teachers receive lots of gifts and big bunches of flowers. They are very happy and I can see the sunshine on their face.Like my classmates, I also send small card directly to my teachers. Although life is now modern, I would rather small cards written by hand than send email or massages.I myself have sent cards for 5 years and I have never been curious to know how my teachers will feel after receiving them. My mother is a teacher,too. She often smiles while reading cards from her students. My mother says that cards are so lovely and insightful despite of being some grammar mistakes and restless feelings because she knows that they were written by hearts and nobody can rearrange their feelings.

In the evening, like my classmates' parents, my mother comes to visit my teachers' houses and brings many bunches of flowers. I would love to go with her because I really want to listen to my teacher's comments about my studying at school.

Vietnamese teachers' day make our teachers and us closer, we respect and admire them more although sometimes they are very strict. Some adults feel a bit jealous of teachers. Whilst teachers receive lots of bunches of flowers and enjoy their holiday, workers have to work hard in factories, accountants still work in office,...

I respect my teachers so much because they have given me lots of knowledge and taught me how to be a good person. They are very devoted and have inspired me much. Vietnamese teachers are said to be the engineers of souls. They don't repair and install machines, they " repair" students' behaviours and show them the right ways.
i Which job do you like most ? In the future, do you want to become a teacher ?
If you reply me " No, I'd like to be a doctor ", Oh, sounds great. In Vietnam, we also have Doctors' Day.
If you reply me " I want to be a soldier",Oh, in Vietnam, we also have Soldiers' Day.
If you smile and answer: " Now, I am a student, so I haven't decided yet" Not at all. we also have Vietnamese students' Day!
However, if you want to be a teacher and it's your dream. Great, I share the same dream with you.I really would like to be an excellent teacher because I want to change the society with a new way and I love children and I love Teachers' Day,too.

Like most Vietnamese students, I look forward to Vietnamese teachers'Day. It's not an official national holiday in my country but it is very meaningful for our teachers and for us.

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 5 December, 2015 - 11:58

Hi Giang!
You know an awful lot knowledge about a variety of things!
What about making Giang's Day between us?! It's the 1st of December! ☆
Well, I learned that UNESCO made The World Teachers's Day in 1994. Beyond that, Chinese culture has a history of Confucius some of which has taught us to respect (old) teachers and people. But on the other hand, teachers in the modern society often play a role as an evaluator along with teaching, tributes to the teacher are often banned (or many teachers refuse to receive them because of fairness). Good old days for teachers or good recent days for students??
Anyway, one thing is for sure is that both teachers and students are happy to have a National Holiday!! ☆

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 7 December, 2015 - 12:44

Hi Elsa,
Thank for your comment and it reminds me of a quiz.It is related to Bush (he was the USA president ) and Michael Schumacher ( a famous motorcyclist ).
I would like to ask you a question : Between Bush and Michael, who is greater ?
I believe that you will reply : " Of course, Bush is much greater !"
Yeah, Bush is greater because he was the leader of the USA, his position is much higher than Michael's.However, if we think about their incomes, something will change, Bush's income is 300000 USD a year whereas Michael's is 60000000 USD a year. Who is greater ?
Therefore, no comparison in the world is completely right.
Teachers are teachers, they are different from evaluators. I only think that Teachers' Day is a chance for me to say thanks to my teachers. Gifts are not related to fairness or unfairness. All of us send them small postcards and flowers. Flowers die after some days without water, postcards are kept in drawers and no teachers read it again ! All I would like to say is" teachers are kind and devoted, so it is necessary to have a special day for teachers."

If someone ask me to comment about Vietnamese students, I will only answer that they respect and admire teachers and have simple feelings.
Hmm, seeing is much easier than reading and imagining. There is a song about Vietnamese students, its name is " xe dap thuy chi mv ", you'll feel that they have beautiful minds and for them, school is wonderful.

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 10 December, 2015 - 09:39

Hi Giang!

Thank you for your reply, it's an interesting quiz. You're highly studious!
BTW, my word choice might not be appropriate to express a role of teacher as giving mark. I understand that the word 'to evaluate' is more often used when making judgement about value or quality in a broader context like you showed Bush vs Michel, right? (…and my answer to the quiz: I've never thought Bush is greater! Well, I usually try to think carefully about famous people from various perspectives. Money: Schumi, Appearance: Schumi, Intelligence: Schumi, not sure!, Academic background: Bush, Social status: Bush, Personality: unknown, Luckiness: tomato tomato…… ??)

Anyway, going back to the matter at hand, yeah, what people do (sending flowers etc…) on Teachers' Day is wonderful. It reminded me of 'Goodby, Mr. Chips', I feel like giving a bunch of flowers to Mr. Chips! He served cakes and tea for the dormitory students even after his retirement. He appears to be really a devoted teacher…
And on reflection of my school nowadays in Asia, students and parents are very competitive to pass the high-stakes examinations for future careers. Some really don't care to use flattery to get good school report. So there's a kind of tense between teachers and students and in fact some students never let their real self out to the teachers!
So that's why I said good old days, but even for Mr. Chips, he had 'good old days…'!
'Good old days' remains in everyone's heart!! ☆

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 10 December, 2015 - 14:26

really ?, I didn't know about this ( students and parents....good school report ) You are much more insightful than me !

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 1 December, 2015 - 12:44

That's very kind and I'm sure all teachers who read your message will feel moved. Thanks! It makes me wonder why we don't have a teacher's day in the UK. I think it's great that other professions have their own special day too in Vietnam so that people can show appreciation for other people's hard work. But, I guess there are some professions without a dedicated day?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 1 December, 2015 - 14:00

Hi Jonathan.
Teachers's Day is not only occurs in Vietnam but also in some other countries.
Korean Teachers's Day is on 15th May annually. ( It's in the middle of summer so the weather is quite hot )
Indian Teachers'Day is on 5th September .
Teacher's Day in Thailand is on 16th January.
Korean students give their teachers bunches of carnation - the symbol of respect, Thai students give their teachers bunches of peony- the symbol of wit and Vietnamese students send their teachers all kinds of flowers displayed at store.:D
Although you don't have Teacher's day in the UK, you are still a devoted teacher, you are working for British Council website so all of us are your students. Therefore, you have a lot of Teachers's day on this website.

Actually, last week, on 20th November, I sent an email to the editor of this website and had some congratulations.( I hope you read it ). I know that Vietnam and the UK are different, but you are my teachers and I respect all teachers.

In Vietnam, there are many of special days for other professions but I don't remember all. For me, special days are the day that I don't have to go to school and study.

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JoEditor 1 December, 2015 - 14:17

Hi gianggiang,
Thanks for your comment. Yes - I did share your email with all the moderators on the site. They were really pleased. We were all really happy to read your kind words and it's great that you consider us all to be your teachers. We're in a very big and global classroom on LearnEnglish Teens and it's always great to hear that students are learning with us in this way. :)
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 30 November, 2015 - 12:35

Happy Saint Andrew's Day !
Do you drink a little whisky ( Scotch is a good choice ) today, LouiseH ? :)

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 29 November, 2015 - 16:44

Happy Saint Andrew's Day!
By the way, I just wonder how come Saint Andrew's relics were sailed across the sea from Greece and buried in Scotland? Could anyone teach me please?

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LouiseH's picture
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LouiseH 4 December, 2015 - 21:29

Hi Elsa007,

I hope you had a great St Andrews day!

Legend has it that a monk called St Rule sailed the relics of Saint Andrew to Scotland after an angel appeared to him in a vision telling him to bring the relics to " the ends of the earth" for safe-keping.  The boat was shipwrecked on the coast of Scotland in a place now named St Andrews where the relics were originally buried.  However, others say that St Agustine brought the relics to Scotland in his crusade to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. 

During the reformation St Andrew's original relics were either destroyed or stolen (nobody kows for certain) and were never seen again...In 1969 Pope Paul 6th sent further relics of Saint Andrew to Scotland which are now displayed in St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital. 

I hope this helps!

Louise

 

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 7 December, 2015 - 12:51

Sharing the same thought, Elsa, of all author in section " life around the world", i like reading Louise's and Olano's articles most. Louise is insightful whereas Olano is humorous.

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 5 December, 2015 - 09:53

Thank you Louise for your reply!
Wow, I got more interested in European history!
Looking forward to your further writing! ☆

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