Page last updated at 01:09 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Sheep turning blue for St Andrew

Blue sheep

A flock of blue sheep has appeared in central Scotland as part of a series of events to mark St Andrew's Day.

Celebrations of the nation's patron saint will be taking place across the country on Sunday 30 November.

The blue sheep, coloured with animal-friendly paint, have popped up near Junction 3a of the M8.

Andrew Jack, the farmer who owns the flock, said: "The blue sheep are making a lot of people smile on their way to work on the M8."

Mr Jack added: "They're always a great talking point and we were pleased to help out to celebrate St Andrew's Day this weekend."

Other landmarks taking part in the festivities include the Clyde Arc in Glasgow, The Balmoral Hotel clock tower in Edinburgh and St Andrew's Cathedral in Inverness.

Song and dance

A weekend of events in the capital includes a Happy March for children, music from Sandi Thom and The Dykeenies, along with nights of contemporary ceilidh action with Salsa Celtica.

A ceilidh is also scheduled for Aberdeen, while a fashion show and medieval day is taking place in Dundee and a street party featuring the Red Hot Chilli Pipers is set for Inverness.

Glasgow's George Square plays host to live music and dancing in the city's Shindig on the Square and in St Andrews itself entertainment includes a St Andrew's Day procession, outdoor music and entertainment and "beating the retreat".

The festivities act as a precursor to the year of events planned to celebrate Scotland and its diverse culture as part of the Homecoming Scotland campaign.

A Visit for Free initiative will also see more than 60 of Scotland's top visitor attractions open their doors.

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