What is St Andrew’s Day? Google Doodle celebrates St Andrew’s Day but who was the saint?

It is St Andrew’s Day today (November 30) and has created a beautiful ‘colouring-in Doodle’ to pay tribute to Scotland’s patron saint. 

With help from Scottish artist Johanna Basford, the iconic Google logo has been transformed into a homage to Scotland. 

Ms Basford said: “To mark St Andrews day, Google asked me to create a very special Google Doodle that celebrates all things Scottish, so I picked up my pens and pencils and created this for them. 

“My daughter, Evie is delighted to see our national animal make an appearance! There’s a splash of saltire blue, but I think it needs more colour… over to you!”

Exclusive to the UK, today’s Doodle is particularly special because it can be downloaded to colour-in at home via JohannaBasford.com

What is St Andrew’s Day?

St Andrew’s Day is the official national day of Scotland and is celebrated with a number of Scottish ceremonies including traditional feasts, music and dance. 

Dating back to the reign of Malcolm III between 1034 and 1093, the celebration marks the beginning of Advent in the run-up to Christmas. 

St Andrew’s Day was officially recognised by the Scottish Parliament as a bank holiday in 2007, though employers are not obliged to give workers the day off. 

Who was St Andrew?

St Andrew, also known as Andrew the Apostle, was a disciple of Jesus Christ and brother to St Peter.

Born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, Andrew was a fisherman by trade and, despite his humble beginnings, had a philosophy of always helping those less fortunate than himself. 

He is said to have attended the Last Supper as one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles and is now the patron saint of several countries, including Ukraine, Romania and Barbados. 

Andrew, who was not made a patron saint until 1320, is thought to have died in the second half of the first century, when he was crucified in the city of Patras, Greece. 

He was bound to a X-shaped cross known as a saltire – now commonly referred to as St Andrew’s Cross. 

What is the Google Doodle? 

The Google Doodle team said: “Wreathed in the prickly-leaved purple thistle, the unicorn (Scotland’s national animal) leads the parade, symbolising innocence, purity, power, and joy.

“The highlands and the lochs form the perfect backdrop to the country’s favourite mythical monster — Nessie, otherwise known as the Loch Ness monster. 

“Trailing her is a majestic red deer, Scotland’s largest native land mammal, exploring the country’s much-celebrated bluebell woods.

“The Saltire, the blue Scottish flag emblazoned with a white diagonal cross, heralds the procession. 

“It is believed to be the oldest flag in Europe, and every building in Scotland is required by law to display it on this day.”