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Edinburgh to champion the value of kindness in a programme of events to celebrate St Andrew’s Day

Posted: 26th November 2021

Up to 100 events taking place across the country between 26-30 November

This weekend people in Edinburgh are being encouraged to celebrate our national day by coming together to share kindness with friends and neighbours, and recognise the value we place on having compassion for others and the environment we live in.

Kindness is a central theme of the St Andrew’s Day events programme – part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2021/22. The Scottish Government has provided over £430,000 in funding for Scotland’s Winter Festivals and the events programme is delivered by EventScotland, BEMIS Scotland, the Fair Saturday Foundation and the English Speaking Union Scotland.

Up to 100 individual events are planned for the five-day festivities marking St Andrew’s Day across the country including theatre performances, poetry readings and music concerts as well as ceilidhs, torchlight parades and a Diversity Cup football tournament. Events happening across Edinburgh, which will give a welcome boost to the tourism and event sectors as they recover from the pandemic, include:

● Summerhall Presents: FAIR PLAY – 30 November 2021: An evening of music, theatre, spoken word, dance and film. Edinburgh’s independent performing arts venue Summerhall is working with Fair Saturday to present FAIR PLAY, celebrating some of the artists who’ve been involved with Summerhall’s Artist Development Programme. MC’d by poet and theatre maker Leyla Josephine, the night will include dance from Katie Armstrong and Róisín O’Brien, spoken word from John Osborne (My Car Plays Tapes) and Colin Bramwell (Three Pints on a Sunday), and a screening of a new short film Auntie Empire (Julia Taudevin, Niamh McKeown and Jana Robert), all rounded off with music from a surprise guest.
● Scottish LGBTQ+ Walking Tour – 27th November 2021: As part of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday there will be a new 2-hour walking tour in Edinburgh’s Old Town featuring Scottish LGBTQ+ history. Starting at either 10am or 2pm on the 27th of November the tour will discuss pioneering lesbian doctors in the Victorian era, a gender non-conforming army surgeon, and the sites of some of the first public queer social events in Edinburgh in the 1970s and 20% of all proceeds with be donated to Mermaids.
● Kindness of Words – 26th – 30th November 2021: Enjoy a little ‘spoken word sustenance’ with a curated programme of special events within the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival this year. Take a chance to pause and enjoy sessions created by charities and organisations across the world that promote a love of reading, storytelling, poetry and literature. Events include Elevenses poetry event with Jackie Kay on St Andrew’s Day at the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre, a celebration of books and stories at Streetreads library in Edinburgh and a special mini Bookbug session with Scottish Book Trust.

As part of this year’s celebrations, Edinburgh-based artist Emily Hogarth has designed an illustration which encapsulates the spirit of St Andrew’s Day and reflects small acts of kindness that have brought us together over the past 12 months. The illustration and its message, ‘When Kindness is Shared it Grows’, will be brought to life and displayed at St James Quarter and the Festival Theatre reminding people around Scotland to share kindness with others this St Andrew’s Day.

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said:

“Scotland’s Winter Festivals bring a much-needed brightness and joy to the winter darkness and I’m very pleased that the Scottish Government is contributing up to £430,000 to the programme of events.

“The past year has been challenging for everyone so the government is proud to fund a programme of events that bring people together from near and far to showcase our world-class culture and heritage as well as our values of fairness, kindness, inclusivity and empowerment.”

For more information on the full St Andrew’s Day events programme visit:

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