The Google Doodle to celebrate St Andrews Day 2014

The occasion is thought to date from the reign of Malcolm III

Google has marked St Andrew's Day - Scotland's official national day - with a Doodle of the Flying Scotsman - the world famous steam locomotive designed by Edinburgh-born Sir Nigel Gresley.

St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and was a fisherman born on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Along with his elder brother St Peter, he became a disciple of Jesus Christ and is said to have been crucified on an X-shaped cross from which the country's Saltire flag is derived.

Scots celebrate the public bank holiday in patriotic fashion with story-telling, poetry recitals, musical entertainment and traditional ceilidh dancing. The occasion is thought to date from the reign of Malcolm III (1034–1093).

In Edinburgh there is a week of celebrations, while in Glasgow a large shindig is held in the city centre.


Folklore states that it is also a day when young women would discover information about their future husbands, throwing apple peel over their shoulders to discover the first initial of their future spouse's name, or by dropping molten candle wax into cold water so that it formed a shaped indicating his profession.

St Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland and Ukraine.