St Andrew's Day is upon us with many across Scotland celebrating the country's patron saint, Andrew the Apostle.

While the national day, which takes place on November 30, is a long-running tradition, many may be unsure as to why we actually mark it.

Here is why we celebrate St Andrew's Day each year and why we have Andrew the Apostle as our patron saint.

Why do we celebrate St Andrews Day?

Irvine Times: St Andrew was selected as Scotland's patron saint in 1320.St Andrew was selected as Scotland's patron saint in 1320. (Image: Getty)

St Andrews Day is celebrated in Scotland as Andrew the Apostle is the country's patron saint.

Andrew was selected as Scotland's patron saint in 1320 when Scotland made an appeal to the Pope for protection against English conquest in the famous Declaration of Arbroath.

He was seen as a suitable choice due to his position as the brother of Saint Peter, the founder of the church as well as his role as one of Jesus's disciples.

There are also a number of myths and legends used to justify Andrew's special place in Scottish history.

Irvine Times: St Andrews Day is marked annually on November 30.St Andrews Day is marked annually on November 30. (Image: Getty)

One such story states that the Scots are descendants of the ancient Scythians who resided in what is now Romania and Bulgaria.

Here, it is said that Andrew the Apostle converted the early Scots to Christianity before they migrated to the British Isles.

Another is that Andrew, who was known for wandering far and wide before his crucifixion, travelled as far north as Scotland to establish a church in Fife. 

Where else is Saint Andrew the patron saint?

A number of countries have Saint Andrew as their patron saint such as the island nation of Barbados, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.

He is also the patron saint of several cities such as Pienza and Amalfi in Italy, Esgueira in Portugal, Luqa in Malta, Parañaque in the Philippines and Patras in Greece.

Saint Andrew's Day takes place on Thursday, November 30, 2023.