National Tartan Day Is April 6
April 6 is Tartan Day, an annual celebration of all things Scottish. As a golf lover and wannabe Scot, I’m all in.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Scotland. As a kid, I read the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. Family friends, Charles and Christina Watt, had emigrated from Scotland. Charles wore his kilt to our church (Presbyterian, naturally), on Sundays. I actually like bagpipes, and love Celtic/Scottish Gaelic folk music.
My college professor grandfather annually celebrated the Burns Supper, and could quote Robert Burns’ poetry by heart.
As a teacher of economics and political science, Scotsmen Adam Smith and David Hume are in my pantheon of intellectual giants.
Then, when I took up golf, my desire to visit was only amplified.
One of these years …
In the meantime, The American Scottish Foundation is holding a series of virtual Tartan Day events across the country. Through the magic of the internet, aficionados will get to hear the pipers, see the clans, and enjoy the parade of tartans while remaining COVID safe.
In the “before times,” the New York Tartan Day Parade was the largest event attracting more than 30,000 spectators and more than 3,000 Scottish American clans, marchers and accompanying pipers. It is something I’d like to see.
Again, one of these years …
The date of April 6 commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which asserted Scotland’s sovereignty over English territorial claims, and which was an influence on the American Declaration of Independence.
During the American Revolution, King George III decried the Americans of Scottish descent leading the revolution as “those blasted Presbyterians.” Of the three million people living in the thirteen colonies during the Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish descent.
In 1998, National Tartan Day on April 6 was officially recognized on a permanent basis when the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 155. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41 which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2005. In 2008, a Presidential Proclamation signed into effect National Tartan Day.
Recently, in connection with Tartan Day, online retailer, The Scottish Grocer sent a gift package with Scottish shortbread cookies from Edinburgh, Bowmore orange marmalade, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky fudge, and Jim Beam Whisky Fudge from Gardiners of Scotland.
I’m set for snacks on April 6.
The Scottish Grocer offers several Tartan Day Celebration Kits brimming with authentic foods, or select delicacies from hundreds of Scottish imported foods.
The Tartan Day Luxury Celebration Kit from the Scottish Grocer features Haggis, oatcakes, clotted cream, scones, shortbread and fudge among a dozen different items.
Traditional haggis is a blend of meat, “neeps and tatties”, or potatoes and rutabagas, ground oatmeal and local seasonings boiled in a bag. I’ve never had the opportunity to eat haggis, but I suspect its sometimes negative connotations are overblown.
A few more links for National Tartan Day: