30th November – St Andrew’s Day – is regarded as Scotland’s National Day. Increasing number of people living in Scotland make the most of the day to celebrate Scottish traditions and culture. I rather like that Saint Andrew is the patron saint. He’s not Scottish but was one of the twelve apostles, coming from a family of fishermen. Although he travelled extensively following the death of Jesus,the historical evidence suggests that only his remains made it to Scotland. It is unlikely that he visited in person. Andrew was crucified on a saltire cross for his beliefs on 30th November 60AD. This is the cross that is on the Scottish flag.
Often when people think about culture, the normal associations are those around history, costumes, music, dance, famous people and food. You can find lots of information on the Education Scotland website and this download has further weblinks and educational suggestions for St Andrew’s Day.
Yet culture comes from our relationship with the land. Our identity is defined and shaped by the natural elements such as the rocks, the weather, the plants and wildlife. It comes through in the language, the legends, the songs and the stories. So to ignore the natural heritage of Scotland is to ignore a part of our being.
At this time of year, Scotland’s weather can often be described as “dreich”. The days are getting short, the winds stronger, there’s more rain and usually the first snow will have appeared on the higher hills. However, with falling levels of natural light and the risk of cabin fever setting in, if children don’t get plenty of time outside thus outdoor activities remain important to include within the ongoing work of a classroom. So here’s some ways to celebrate the Scottish culture outside at this time of year…. [..read more..]