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What Is Tartan Day and How to Celebrate?

by Muhammad Ibrahim 27 Apr 2023

Tartan Day is a day of celebration that is observed annually on April 6th. This day is dedicated to honoring and celebrating Scottish heritage and culture. The holiday originated in Canada in the late 1980s, but it has since spread to other parts of the world, including the United States and Scotland.

The origins of Tartan Day can be traced back to the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which was an important moment in Scottish history. The declaration was signed by a group of Scottish nobles and affirmed Scotland's independence from England. The document included the phrase "we fight not for glory, nor riches, nor honors, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life."

In Canada, Tartan Day was first celebrated in Nova Scotia in 1986, and it quickly became popular among Scottish Canadians. In 1991, the Canadian government officially recognized April 6th as Tartan Day. The holiday was later adopted in the United States, where it is celebrated on April 6th or on the nearest weekend to that date.

How to Celebrate Tartan Day

There are many ways to celebrate Tartan Day, depending on where you are and what resources you have available. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Wear Tartan: The most obvious way to celebrate Tartan Day is to wear tartan clothing or accessories. Tartan is a plaid pattern that is associated with Scottish culture, and there are many different types of tartan patterns to choose from. You can wear a tartan scarf, tie, or skirt, or even a full kilt if you're feeling brave.

  2. Attend a Parade: Many cities and towns hold Tartan Day parades, which are a great way to experience Scottish culture and meet other people who share your interests. If you can't attend a parade in person, you can watch one online or on TV.

  3. Learn about Scottish History: Tartan Day is a great opportunity to learn more about Scottish history and culture. You can read books or watch documentaries about Scottish history, visit a Scottish museum or cultural center, or attend a lecture or workshop on Scottish topics.

  4. Listen to Scottish Music: Scotland has a rich musical tradition, and there are many great Scottish musicians to discover. You can listen to traditional Scottish music, such as bagpipe music or Celtic folk music, or explore contemporary Scottish music, such as indie rock or electronic music.

  5. Cook Scottish Food: Scottish cuisine is hearty and flavorful, and there are many delicious dishes to try. You can make traditional Scottish dishes, such as haggis, neeps and tatties, or try more modern Scottish cuisine, such as smoked salmon or Cullen skink soup.


Tartan Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Scottish heritage and culture, and there are many ways to get involved. Whether you attend a parade, wear tartan clothing, or cook Scottish food, there are many ways to show your appreciation for Scottish culture. So, if you're looking for a fun and meaningful way to celebrate your Scottish heritage or simply learn more about Scottish culture, Tartan Day is the perfect occasion to do so.

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