About Tartan Day
Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on April 6th. The date commemorates the Declaration of Arbroath which was signed on this day in 1320.
The Declaration is a letter written in 1320 by the barons and whole community of the kingdom of Scotland to the Pope, asking him to recognise Scotland's independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king. It was intended to confirm that Scotland was an independent state which had the right to defend itself.
Tartan Day began in1986 as a day to promote Scottish heritage in Canada and was proposed at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia. Since then it has spread to other countries that have a large Scottish diaspora.
In the US in 2008, an annual April 6th Tartan Day was proclaimed by President George W Bush.
In Australia, International Tartan Day is celebrated on July 1st.
Did you Know?
According to VisitScotland, Elvis Presley has no less than three tartans to his name. The singer is said to have roots in Lonmay, a tiny village in Aberdeenshire, and in 2004 local designer Mike King created an official Presley of Lonmay tartan in his honour followed by a modern version a few years later. The Scottish Tartan Registry also lists the Presley of Memphis tartan by Brian Wilton, which is based on the colours of the US flag with a gold stripe to represent Elvis’ multiple Gold Discs. It even has a thread count of 42 – the age the King was when he died.
The world's first permanent colour photograph, taken by Thomas Sutton (using the three colour process developed by James Clerk Maxwell) in 1861, was of a tartan ribbon.
The oldest known tartan design is the Falkirk tartan, which dates to around AD245 and was discovered in a jar of coins near Falkirk.