By Scots! See Scotland’s Popular Sites for Free or Nearly Free
by Heather Cassell
Celebrating St. Andrew’s Day, Scotland is throwing the doors open its doors – for free or a discounted price – at more than 40 of the country’s most treasured and popular tourist sites.
The goal is to encourage Scots to learn about the nation’s culture, but travelers get to partake too.
Locals and travelers alike will be able to take advantage of this treat Nov. 18 – Dec. 1 to take in historical landmarks and national hot spots. Some of the popular spots generously welcoming guests include Glasgow’s House for An Art Lover, Edinburgh Dungeons, Robert Burns Centre Theatre in Dumfries, and a host of aquariums and leisure centers that are taking part in the for the sixth year of the “day out” scheme celebrating St. Andrews Day on Nov. 30.
The ancient celebration of St. Andrew, a disciple of Jesus along with his brother Simon Peter was crucified by the Romans. His paraphernalia was brought to Scotland by a Greek monk St. Regulus to the town, known today as St. Andrew. Legend tells the tale that St. Andrew appeared in a Pictish king’s dream a night before battle and a Saltire cross, known as St. Andrew’s cross, appeared in the sky above the king’s victorious battle field. The symbol became Scotland’s national emblem and St. Andrew the nation’s patron saint protecting it as well as fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to become mothers.
The celebrations of St. Andrew have been a tradition for more than 600 years.
It is estimated that the Scottish government will spend an estimated $561,210 (£350,000) to celebrate Burns Night, Scotland’s patron saint day, and a series of winter festivals in the “greatest country,” according to a government announcement.
The funds will be used to produce a total of 19 events to promote culture, heritage and creativity across the country, the Scottish Government said.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop met children in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden today to promote the visitor centre scheme.
“St. Andrew’s Day is the perfect opportunity for Scots and Scots at heart around the world to celebrate all that is great about our nation – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome,” says Fiona.
“What better way to enjoy our national day than to gather together friends and family to explore what’s on offer?” she continues. “We want Scots to take advantage of the diverse range of events and activities on their doorstep and celebrate a fun-filled St. Andrew’s Day out this year.”
To get your Highland dress on, visit Scotland.org/us.
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