Tartan Day Celebrated Around the World

Celebrated annually around the world, April 6 is recognised as an international celebration of Scottish heritage and ancestry. Known as Tartan Day, the celebration marks the anniversary of the 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, sought to assert Scotland’s right to self-govern, and to lift the Catholic church’s excommunication of Robert the Bruce.

As well playing a significant role in shaping Scottish history, the declaration’s confirmation of kingship, independence and the rights of the people is said to have formed the basis of the American Declaration of Independence. Today the day is celebrated with a variety of different events hosted by various clan and Scots heritage societies. Here’s a quick round up of snaps from this years celebrations:


Super Selfie from New York Tartan Day Parade
Simon Fraser University (B.C.) Pipe Band drum major Jason Paguio led the Tunes of Glory band at Saturday’s New York Tartan Day Parade and decided to snap a photo as the parade wound its way through Manhattan. “I was hoping I wouldn’t get into trouble,” Paguio said with a chuckle. You can view a news report form the New York festivities here.

McGregors, McAlisters and McIntyres in attendance in WA
About 75 people gathered on the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington State on Sunday. The event featured bagpipe music, a reading of a National Tartan Day resolution and a group performance of “Scotland the Brave”.

Thousands celebrate Celtic heritage at Tartan Day South
The fourth annual Tartan Day South Highland Games was held at the Celtic Festival in Cayce, Columbia on Saturday. Thousands flowed in for this year’s event, part of the four-day Tartan Day festivities that also featured a movie night Thursday and concert Friday at West Columbia’s Riverwalk Amphitheater. The festivities concluded Sunday with the Kirkin of the Tartans, a worship service.


Weekend of events in Arbroath kick off Tartan Day Scotland Festival
A weekend of special events marking the heritage and culture of Angus attracted crowds of people to Arbroath. A re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath by the medieval nobles of Scotland took place within the walls of Arbroath Abbey for the first time in several years. You can view a video here.


Minneapolis Mayor Hodges honored for Scottish roots
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was Guest of Honor Saturday at Saturday’s Tartan Day event, which recognizes Scottish history and culture. She wore a sash of her clan’s Modern Red Morrison tartan for the event, held at the state Capitol. In a Facebook post, Hodges said she has lots of Scottish blood:

I was so touched to be the honored guest at Minnesota Tartan Day. I have Scottish heritage from both sides of my family, Clan Morrison on my father Morrison Hodges’ side and Clan Nicholson on my mother Aj Hodges’ side. I think I first knew I was Scottish when the bagpipers played Amazing Grace at my grandfather’s funeral. The second time was when I went to Scotland and for the first time in my Minnesota-raised life I was around a bunch of people who kinda sorta looked like me.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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