St Andrews Day celebrations
The First Minister today launched a weekend of events to celebrate St Andrew's Day in spectacular style by being piped onto the Edinburgh Castle esplanade by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers with 50 primary schoolchildren from Glasgow marching alongside.
The First Minister, children from the High School of Glasgow's junior school and visiting tourists enjoyed a rousing performance by Scotland's hottest bagpiping supergroup before Mr Salmond officially invited everyone with a connection to Scotland to join in the celebrations for St Andrew's Day.
This weekend, events to celebrate our national day are taking place across the country as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, showcasing the best of Scotland's modern culture and traditions.
The First Minister said:
"St Andrew's Day is the ideal time to celebrate all that is great about Scotland - our people, heritage, music, arts, innovation and food and drink. There will be something for everyone to enjoy, no matter where they are in Scotland.
"We have a packed programme of events taking place across the country as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals and, once again, many of our top visitor attractions will open to the public for free over the St Andrew's Day weekend.
"Scotland's global family can join the celebrations in true Scottish style with St Andrew's Day Balls in Doha and Beijing. Dance is an intrinsic part of our cultural identity and what better way to celebrate St Andrew's Day than with a traditional ceilidh?
"This year, we have a special menu devised by two Michelin star chef Andrew Fairlie. Perfect for St Andrew's Day, recreating this mouth watering meal using authentic, top quality, Scottish produce offers locals and visitors alike a real taste of Scotland.
"We know that festive celebrations can make a significant contribution to Scottish tourism and our economy and St Andrew's Day will help entice people from home and abroad to explore all areas of Scotland."
Celebrations for St Andrew's Day herald the start of Scotland's Winter Festivals. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be playing at the St Andrew's Festival this evening (Friday).
Scottish Ministers will attend events across the country to celebrate St Andrew's Day. Details of Scottish Ministers' activities include:
- Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop will address the Scottish Music & Literary Ceremony in East Lothian and open Edinburgh's Grand Ceilidh
- First Minister Alex Salmond will deliver a St Andrew's Day message and visit Linlithgow Academy
- Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Jim Mather will present the St Andrew's Day Border Banquet & Taste Awards
- Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell has announced the winner of the Scottish Government's St Andrew's Day poster competition
- Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Stewart Stevenson will attend the Food Trust Scotland's Annual St Andrew's Day Lunch and Aberdeen's Largest Gay Gordon's event
- Minister for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham will attend Perth's Andermass Fair
- Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill will take part in the St Andrew's Day Family Festival in Edinburgh
- Minister for Children and Early Years Adam Ingram will visit Wallacetown Nursery School in Ayr and St Andrew's Primary School in Kilmarnock
- Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning Keith Brown will visit Newton Primary School in Dunblane
There are more than 60 Scotland's Winter Festivals events taking place across Scotland this year.
Funded by the Scottish Government, Scotland's Winter Festivals are delivered by the national events agency EventScotland, in partnership with the national tourism agency VisitScotland.
Historic Scotland and the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions are again offering free access and two-for-one discounts at many of Scotland's top visitor attractions on 27 and 28 November, 2010. In addition, Historic Scotland properties will have free entry on 29 November and St Andrew's Day itself, 30 November.
The Scottish Government is supporting the St Andrew's Day Debating Championship, in conjunction with the Scottish Parliament and the English-Speaking Union Scotland.
In support of the 'Cross Out Child Poverty in Scotland' campaign, the final motion for this year's debating championship focuses on child poverty.
St Andrew's Day celebrations will take place around the world.