Today is St Andrew’s Day, the official national holiday of Scotland – and because no one celebrates their national heritage quite like the Scots, the whole weekend has been packed with a fantastic range of events across the country.
First up was the generous opening of many of Scotland’s most fascinating buildings for free, as Historic Scotland, the national heritage trust, waived the entry fees at over 40 locations on Saturday and Sunday – including the ever-popular Edinburgh Castle and Glasgow Cathedral, two fascinating edifices that are always worth a return visit.
This gave curious visitors the chance to explore sites they might not have thought about before – though it has to be said that anyone hoping to take in the historic atmosphere may prefer to leave their visit for another time, as the attractions can understandably get pretty packed on this free weekend!
But the festivities didn’t stop with the weekend – not when Monday is now a national bank holiday after all. According to The Scotsman, Scottish locals and visitors alike have been blessed with a wide range of activities in all areas of the country to celebrate the finale of the Year of Homecoming, from a music event at the Glasgow SECC that played to an audience of 6,000 to a parade down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile that ended – quite fittingly – at St Andrews Square.
Elsewhere, films celebrating Scotland were the name of the game at the Falkirk Hippodrome, while Dundee, never to be outdone, hosted a spectacular display of music and fireworks that also involved street art and storytelling.
Proving that this festival really does offer something for everyone, the close of the celebrations will see staff and students of Glasgow University attempting to sing Auld Lang Syne in the most languages at the same time to make their way into the record books. Whether this valiant effort will be a triumph remains to be seen, but what’s certain is that Scotland’s Year of Homecoming has been a winner.