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St Andrew's Day is a very special occasion in Scotland. It is a time when we come together to celebrate Scotland's history, culture, and people.
This year, nine major St Andrew's Day events will take place right across the country – from a fire show and fireworks display in St Andrews to a week-long celebration of music and film in Stornoway.
Together, these events mark the start of Scotland's Winter Festivals – which open with St Andrew's Day, followed by Hogmanay, and then Burns Night. The Winter Festivals are expected to attract well over 100,000 people – from across Scotland and around the world. And I can guarantee that each and every person attending will receive the traditional warm Scottish welcome.
But of course, the celebrations aren't just taking place here in Scotland. In nations right across the world, people with Scottish heritage – and people who are Scots at heart – will celebrate St Andrew's Day – and all that is best about our country.
This year we're looking to harness that kind of enthusiasm for a very special cause.
The values of compassion and solidarity are central to the story of St Andrew. They are also a big part of Scotland's national identity. So we're encouraging everyone to celebrate these values, by performing an act of kindness on St Andrew's Day. That could mean helping out your neighbours; giving time or money to charity; or simply offering friendship and company to those who need it most.
It's a great way of marking this special day – and of making life a little bit brighter for our friends and neighbours.
So wherever you are on 30 November – whether you are in Scotland or overseas – I hope that you will enter into the spirit of the occasion. And, of course, I hope you all have a very happy and enjoyable St Andrew's Day.