In Scotland, we celebrate our national day on the 30th of November – Saint Andrew’s Day!
Legends tell us that Saint Andrew created the Scottish flag – a white cross on a blue background. The blue backgroud represents the sky, and the white cross is the clouds.
(The orange text is a regional Scottish language called Gàidhlig)
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, but Saint Andrew’s Day is not a religious celebration. It’s a day where we celebrate Scottish culture, food, music, clothes and any other Scottish thing you can think of!
On the 30th of November, lots of men wear kilts. It’s a tradition!
We eat a traditional Scottish dinner with the family – haggis, neeps and tatties. Neeps is a Scottish word for turnip and tatties are potatoes.
And then we go to a cèilidh, a traditional party where we sing, dance, and listen to Scottish folk music.
It’s lots of fun! Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, everyone!
Guy Fawkes was a man who, on the 5th of November 1605, wanted to destroy the parliament with fire. His secret plan was discovered, and the King was saved! So, every year on the 5th of November we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night.
This is a picture of the celebrations in 1776.
Sometimes it’s called Bonfire night because people build large fires. Teenagers visit all the houses in the neighbourhood to ask for wood. Here it is in a forest on Arran island.
But the best things about Guy Fawkes Night are… the fireworks!
This is a firework display in Glasgow Green, a big park near my house.
The thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland but there are lots of different types of thistles. Nobody knows which one is the exact emblem!
Description of the Thistle:
The thistle has spiky leaves to protect itself from animals who want to eat it! It also has a purple flower that is spiky as well!
The story of the Thistle:
When Norse vikings secretly attacked Scotland one stepped upon a thistle and let out a cry of pain! ‘Arghhhhh!’ he said. He was so loud that the Scottish heard his cry and were ready to fight! The Norse vikings were defeated by the Scottish – the Scottish people won the battle! Winner, winner!
The shamrock is the floral emblem of the Republic of Ireland. It is also a emblem of Catholism in Ireland.
Description of the Shamrock:
The shamrock is a small, three-leafed plant. A shamrock with FOUR leaves is good luck!
The history of the Shamrock
In fact, the shamrock is a modern emblem. It became popular in the 19th century when Nationalist movements used it as their symbol of nationalism. Today, the shamrock is often used as a symbol by Irish companies (for example Aer Lingus) and sports teams. It is also put in the bouquets of flowers of brides on their wedding day to give good luck!
The national emblem of Wales is the leek and the daffodil! This vegetable and this flower represent this small country, let us find out why!
The history of the leek
During the time of Shakespeare and even before – the leek was worn around the neck of Welshmen. Today, it is on the badges of every Welsh soldier of the Welsh Regiment.
It was introduced in the 19th century as a remplacement of the leek. The only Welsh Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was a strong advocate for this new symbol for his country. The daffodil also symbolises nature`s optimism!
The rose is the symbol of love but it is also the symbol of England!
The history of the Rose
It became the symbol of England after the War of the Roses between the Royal House of Lancaster and the Royal House of York thanks to King Henry VII. The rose is red and white representing the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Sometimes it is called the Union Rose.
In the UK at about 3pm is the perfect time for a cup of tea. Most people add milk and sugar. In Scotland we also have many traditional tea-time cakes.
Lots of people enjoy eating shortbread with their tea. We make shortbread with flour, butter and sugar and it is shaped like petticoat tails…
My favourite cake is called a Tunnock’s tea cake, made by the Tunnock family. Can you guess when we eat it? That’s right, at tea time!
It’s a biscuit, covered with marshmallow, then covered with chocolate. Delicious!
This is a very popular sweetie (or candy) called tablet.
Tablet is very sweet – it’s made with sugar, more sugar, even more sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Yummy!
Finally we have a tea time classic – scones!
Scones are small cakes – you can have a plain scone or a fruit scone (with raisins) – and we eat them with clotted cream, butter, or jam.