November 30, 2019
St. Andrew's Day 2019
St. Andrew’s Day is a celebration of Scotland’s people, culture, and charity highlighted in today's Doodle, illustrated by Scotland-based guest artist Scott Balmer. The holiday marks the officially unofficial start of winter in Scotland.
As the religious feast day of St. Andrew, November 30th has been observed in Scotland for centuries. St. Andrew’s Day as a national holiday did not take shape until an unexpected connection to the USA in the 18th century.
In 1729, the Scottish residents of Charleston, South Carolina, formed the first St. Andrew’s Society as a charitable organization. Choosing the feast day of St. Andrew to celebrate their homeland, the news of their philanthropic efforts spread quickly. The members of the organization embodied the message of the holiday by giving back to those in need, and continue to do so around the world to this day.
Throughout the country, you’ll find the Saltire flag proudly flying, parades through city thoroughfares, fireworks, and lots of Cèilidh dances. Evolving from couples dances in rural villages, Cèilidh dances are meant to welcome all those who wish to join.
If you’re a Scot abroad, in the Highlands, or just Scottish at heart, get ready to dance the night away, and make sure to have some haggis before the night is over.
Happy St. Andrew’s Day!
Guest Artist Q&A with Scott Balmer
Today’s Doodle was produced by Scotland-based guest artist Scott Balmer. Below, he shares his thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: Well, I am Scottish after all. I grew up in Dundee which runs along the River Tay. It is a place that is located on the east coast of Scotland and was once known for its Jute, Jam, and Journalism in its heyday. Modern Dundee has changed and adapted to the times. Its new centerpiece, the V&A Dundee design museum, is nestled right beside a part of its history: the RRS Discovery, a ship built in Dundee for research of Antarctica.
Dundee has seen a lot in its history from assembling ZX Spectrums to the birthplace of Lemmings.
So to be asked to make this Doodle has been an honour to not only represent me and my work but also the Scottish people, young and old, who have made this country what it is.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: Thinking how to avoid making it like the Souvenirs you get, like the tartan hat with a ginger wig and the general use of that one type of red tartan where there are many different clans using unique patterns and colours.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: I wanted to capture the energy and the sheer joy of the Scottish people through their heritage and through elements that are easily identifiable to everyone by showing the inclusive nature of the Scots. Plus, they know to celebrate too.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope it shows that the diversity of people is what makes modern Scotland great.