st_andrews_day_750_500_60_c1Everyone knows that St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland but until recently little has been done to celebrate the day. Now, in Edinburgh all that has changed as there are many events here in Edinburgh to help us  celebrate the day this winter.

Here is the full list of events taking place on Sunday 30th November 10am – 10pm and they are ALL FREE!

Underbelly today unveil a packed programme of FREE events, all taking place in St Andrew Square in the very heart of the city. There will be no finer place to celebrate Scotland’s national day. The St Andrew’s Day celebrations are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

Throughout the day, St Andrew Square will host a diverse selection of fun, family-friendly events, including:

Music

There is an exciting line-up of both contemporary and traditional Scottish music, including performances by The Hazey Janes who have just returned from a sell-out tour supporting Deacon Blue and The Banjo Lounge 4 with their well know bluegrass-funk interpretations. Outside on our main stage, audiences can enjoy performances throughout the day from the likes of the Stockbridge Pipe Band, Edinburgh’s Got Soul and the Edinburgh bands Seneka and Under the Dogwood Tree. There will even be an opportunity to get vocal with the Big Big Sing who will be leading a very Scottish sing-a-long with the whole audience.

Storytelling

In the Spiegeltent there will be traditional Scottish storytelling for all ages led by well know local author and storyteller Jess Smith. There will also be a reading by Aiden Moffat (Arab Strap) from his new children’s book, The Lavender Blue Dress.

Dance/Ceilidh

For those who want to get more active there will be Scottish Dance workshops for all ages led by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and a chance to then try out your new moves at the Family Ceilidh hosted by the Robert Fish Band.

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Image courtesy of naffed.co.uk

The unique circular Edinburgh’s Christmas ice rink will be open all day and it’s FREE. This is expected to be a very popular family friendly attraction, so you are advised to pre-book your free skating tickets in advance via www.edinburghschristmas.com to avoid disappointment. A limited amount of free tickets will also be available on the day. There will be demonstrations from The Royal Caledonian Curling Club and Murrayfield Skating School and look out for the very special Skating Piper, Louise Marshall. You can also expect a fiery St Andrew’s Day-inspired performance from Edinburgh’s Pyroceltica.

Around The Site

Family fun continues throughout St Andrew Square with face painting, Scottish themed fancy dress competitions, a Haggis hunt for the children, historical tours, and don’t forget to sample the delights of the Scottish Market.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “The Scottish Government is proud to support Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations, as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals. From ceilidh dancing and curling demonstrations, to live music and storytelling, these festivities in the heart of the capital, to mark Scotland’s national day, are aimed at all the family.

“A warm welcome awaits both residents and visitors alike, as our rich culture and distinctive heritage take centre stage.”

Charlie Wood, Director of Underbelly, said: “Underbelly is delighted to be working to present Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day celebrations and – for the first time – in St Andrew Square. There will be something for everyone and it is all free so we urge people to book in advance via the Edinburgh’s Christmas website.”

Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to welcome this great programme of activities to St Andrew Square. It should provide another peak of visitors to the City centre and be great fun for those that live and work here too.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme is based around four major calendar dates, St Andrew’s Day, Christmas Day, Hogmanay and concludes on Burns Night.

These celebrations provide an arc of unique Scottish festivities across the winter months. Scots and Scots-at-heart, at home and abroad, celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture through our winter celebrations. Scotland’s Winter Festivals are funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. For full details of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme please visit: www.scotland.org/winter