On 30 November, people across Scotland and throughout the world, will come together to celebrate St Andrew’s Day.
Our national day is a wonderful time to reflect on Scotland’s many contributions to the world – our people, our history and our culture.
2014 has been a year like no other for Scotland, during which we welcomed the world to for our Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
The referendum debate was a wonderful display of peaceful democracy in action which re-energised our politics and challenged all politicians to respond to the expectations and aspirations of our citizens. As we reflect on the past, we look to the future with renewed focus and optimism.
In Scotland we are proud of our reputation as an outward looking nation and a good global citizen, with an estimated 50m ancestral Scots across the world. As First Minister, I recognise the importance of Scotland working together with our friends in Europe and across the globe to secure a better, more prosperous and peaceful future for all.
St Andrew’s Day also marks the start of Scotland’s winter festival programme and from January we will see a year long celebration of our unrivalled natural larder with Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.
It really will be another fantastic year and I hope you can join us .
So wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful and happy St Andrew’s Day.