National Tartan Day

National Tartan Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on April 6th. This celebration of Scottish heritage primarily takes place in North America and is celebrated on the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in the 14th century.

This holiday originally began as a Canadian holiday among the Scottish diaspora but has since spread to other communities. Nowadays, this is a holiday that features marching bands, and parades that feature Highland dancing, pipe bands, and Scottish-theme festivities.

It’s a day for people to embrace their own Scottish heritage or to learn more about the Scottish heritage of their neighbors.

The History Of National Tartan Day

This holiday started as a day to promote Scottish heritage in Canada on March 9th, 1986. At least, that is the date when the subject was brought up at the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia.

The first official proclamation of this holiday wouldn’t occur until April 1987. On December 19th, 1991, the Ontario Legislature ended up passing a resolution that made April 6th Tartan Day.

This was followed shortly thereafter by other Canadian provinces. Six years later, the holiday would be transported to the United States where it began as an important holiday to celebrate Scottish heritage. It’s been celebrated all across North America ever since.

Observing National Tartan Day

Depending on where a person lives, this holiday is celebrated in different ways. That’s why we decided to go through some of the major National Tartan Day celebrations and talk about some of the events that people can expect. Let’s begin with Canada, shall we?

In Canada, there’s an annual Gathering of the Clans that take place every April 6 or on the Sunday nearest to it. This day is observed with Scottish pipe bands, drums, and Highland dancing.

In the United States, there are about 25 million people who claim Scottish ancestry. This holiday is observed in many communities with parades, marching bands, and other special events.

Some of the most elaborate celebrations of this holiday take place in Argentina. There are over 100,000 people living in this country of Scottish descent, which makes it the largest Scottish community outside of the English-speaking world. Therefore, celebrations on this holiday can be really large and boisterous.

Celebration of National Tartan Day also occurs in Australia and other countries around the world. Everyone wishing to observe this holiday can start the day off by using the hashtag #NationalTartanDay to let the rest of the world know that they’re celebrating this now international holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Canada (Observance)United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 6 Saturday
Next year (2025)
April 6 Sunday
Last year (2023)
April 6 Thursday
Appreciation & Honor