Celebrated on April 6th every year, Tartan Day commemorates the Scottish heritage and the achievements of the people of Scottish descent around the world. The name “Tartan Day” refers to the woolen fabric woven in squares and crisscrossing lines, traditionally worn by members of the Scottish clans.
Tartan Day honors the day that the Declaration of Arbroath (or the Scottish Declaration of Independence) was signed in 1320. The reason it’s so important is that the American Declaration of Independence was actually modeled on the Declaration of Arbroath and quite a big proportion of the Founding Fathers were of Scottish descent (almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and nine of the 13 governors of the newly established United States, were Scottish!)
While Tartan Day is a celebration for those of Scottish descent, anyone can and should enjoy the holiday.
There are lots of things to do in New York City, where Tartan Day is celebrated week long with a variety of events. Due the Easter holiday this year, the events will be taking place a week later than normal.
The New York Tartan Day parade on April 15th features pipers, drummers, and highland dancers. Grand Marshal Gail Porter leads the way for the 25th Anniversary NYC Tartan Day Parade alongside 30 young musicians from Scotland’s Pulse of the Place representing World Fair Trade Tartan. Join this NYC Scottish cultural event as thousands of clans, pipers, dancers and Scottish pups march up Sixth Avenue. Lineup starts at 1:00pm and kicks off from Sixth Ave & 44th Street at 2:00pm
Click here to learn more or register to join in the parade. There are pre- and after-parties taking place, so you can make Tartan Day an all weekend event!
Also in New York, the Highland Divas will perform on April 13th. Recently back from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in front of the famous castle & coined The Greatest Show on Earth, The Highland Divas return to the Cutting Room NYC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of New York City Tartan Week. Join them for a journey of all things Celtic reimagined through a Celtic/Rock Opera lens.
These are just a few of the big events going on, so google Tartan Day to learn what is happening near you.
And, of course, no matter how you choose to celebrate, include your favorite Scottish cookies, Walker’s Shortbread. Our cookies, featuring tartan print boxes, are baked in the Highlands of Scotland making them the perfect treat for your Tartan Day festivities.