Software

St Andrew's Day celebrated with a Google doodle

Google has unveiled a St Andrew's Day-themed doodle to mark the public holiday.

It's St Andrew's Day, and Google is celebrating it the only way it knows how -- with a St Andrew's Day-flavoured Google doodle.

Head to the search engine's home page, and you'll see the above scenery, with three Scottish flags fluttering in the wind. You'll also spy a fisherman. That's because St Andrew himself was fond of fishing.

St Andrew was one of Jesus' disciples, and is credited with preaching God's word across Greece and Asia Minor in the first century. While usually associated with Scotland, he's also the patron saint of Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Barbados, as well as cities in Italy, Malta, Portugal and Greece.

So it's not just the Scots who'll be partying tonight. Barbados celebrates its independence on St Andrew's Day, so I imagine a rum or two will be had this evening. 

St Andrew was killed by Romans in Patras in Greece. Legend has it he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, which became the Saltire symbol that features in Scotland's flag.

St Andrew's Day only recently became a bank holiday in Scotland. It was acknowledged as such in the St Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007. Employers can choose whether to give workers the day off, and banks can close for the day if they wish. Though this year it's fallen on a Saturday.

Google has unveiled a new St Andrew's Day doodle every year since 2010. It also celebrates other national holidays like St George's Day with their own doodles.

The first ever Google doodle was in 1998, when workers at what was then a relatively unknown search engine took the day off to go to the Burning Man festival. The doodle was to let any visitors know that the team was away, just in case the servers went down.

You can peruse Google's back catalogue of doodles here, and even buy doodle-themed merchandise.

Which is your favourite ever doodle? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.