Nov. 30 is St. Andrew’s Day, the official Scottish national holiday celebrating the patron saint of Scotland. The day is marked with traditional Scottish food, music, dance, and cultural events, though the day was not recognized as an official bank holiday until 2006. This year, Google is commemorating St. Andrew with a Doodle that incorporates a parade of Scottish symbols, “each with a special link to the country’s rich heritage and mythology.”
The Doodle’s procession is led by the noble unicorn, Scotland’s national animal — perhaps not found in the Highlands, but a heraldic symbol in Scotland since the 12th Century, when it graced William I’s coat of arms, according to The Scotsman. The unicorn is wreathed in purple thistle, Scotland’s national flower, a prickly weed that can to grow five-feet in height. The Doodle is bookended by the Scottish flag, also known as the Saltire or the Cross of St. Andrews.
Behind the unicorn and rising out of the picturesque Highlands is another Scottish icon — the Loch Ness Monster, known as Nessie, whose popular mythology was spread by a 1934 photograph that appeared to capture a mysterious creature rising from Scotland’s most famous lake. Nessie is followed by the red deer, Scotland’s largest land mammal, which is native to its moors and mountainsides. Next is a trio of bluebells, flowers that explode with carpets of color in Scotland’s ancient bluebell woods every Spring.
The Doodle, which can be downloaded and colored-in, was drawn by Scottish artist Johanna Basford.