Scotland's history and people have been celebrated by political leaders marking St Andrew's Day.
First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron sent special messages highlighting the country's culture and successes.
Mr Salmond focused on the tradition of universal education during a visit to a primary school. He said: "St Andrew's Day is a very special day in Scotland. A day when we celebrate Scotland's history, our people, our culture, but above all a celebration of our people.
"Scotland is proud of its history of invention and discovery. We actually invented quite a bit of the modern world, from the telephone, to television, to penicillin, to beta blockers. However, perhaps - actually certainly - our greatest invention of all, the one that made all of the others possible, was the invention of universal free education."
His message was recorded at Lochgelly primary school in Fife following an invitation from a primary-six pupil. He continued: "It's fantastic to see schools like this encouraging the next generation of Scots to be inventive and creative. These are all deep-seated characteristics of our nation and they will be as essential to our future success as they have been to our historic achievements.
"St Andrew's Day is a great time to reflect on these characteristics. It marks the beginning of Scotland's winter festivals where we welcome visitors from around the world to enjoy Scotland's rich culture, heritage and our hospitality.
"You can ring in the new year at the home of Hogmanay and you can celebrate Burns Night in the land of his birth. Throughout the whole of 2013, we will be celebrating our Year of Natural Scotland when we highlight Scotland's landscapes, our scenery, our wildlife to people in Scotland and of course to visitors from round the world.
"So, enjoy this special day for Scotland and I hope that many of you will join us over the next two years. On behalf of the people of Scotland, as Scotland's First Minister I send you our best wishes for a wonderful St Andrew's Day."
Mr Cameron said: "For centuries, Scotland's greatest asset and greatest export has been its people. Scotland's people are international in their outlook and have taken their flair, inventiveness and determination to succeed to the four corners of the globe. Scots are aspirational for themselves and their country.
"Scots have helped bring peace and security to nations, made some of the world's greatest inventions and been at the forefront of international trade in every continent. Scottish companies and Scottish people are a critical part of the UK's efforts to compete in the global race. A small country with a big heart and a big voice. Scots and Scotland have done so much to shape our modern world. So, this is a day for everyone to celebrate our shared history and look forward to our future prosperity together. A happy St Andrew's Day to all Scots - wherever you are."