Celebrate Your Scottish Heritage with Tartan Day

The Irish have St. Patrick’s Day.  The Scottish have Tartan Day.  Instead of green beer, enjoy two fingers of oak-aged scotch while watching Braveheart or Rob Roy.  However, you choose to celebrate honor your Scottish heritage and the Scottish-American influence on this country on April 6, National Tartan Day.

Davidson TartanNational Tartan Day was established unanimously in 1998 by the 105th Congress to honor the contributions of Scottish heritage on the development of this country.  April 6th is the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath — the Scottish Declaration of Independence — signed on April 6, 1320.  On this date, Scots declared

“. . . we fight not for our glory, not riches, nor honours, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders, but with his life.”

A declaration not so different from our own Declaration of Independence.  Woodrow Wilson once said,

“Every line of strength in American history is a line coloured with Scottish blood.” 

Our 28th president, Wilson was born in Virginia as the grandson of a Scottish Presbyterian minister.  In fact many of our founding fathers were of Scottish descent — Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Hamilton.  They had a great passion for freedom.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery?  Forbid it Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take, but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”

These words were uttered by another Scottish descendant, a great orator whose words started a revolution.  At the Hanover County Courthouse, Patrick Henry ignited the American Revolution in the Parson’s Case in December 1763.  And on March 23, 1776, Henry left his plantation home, Scotchtown, to ride to St. John’s Church in Richmond to deliver these famous words at the Second Virginia Convention.  Henry eventually became Virginia’s first elected governor.

So this year on April 6th, I’m going to put on my tartan, sit back with a glass of scotch and appreciate the freedoms I enjoy not only as an American, but as a Scottish descendant.

Scottish Heritage, American Pride

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19 Responses to Celebrate Your Scottish Heritage with Tartan Day

  1. William Wallace says:

    Tartan Day eh? Sounds fun. I’m gonna’ have to drink lots o’ scotch tomorrow. Thanks for a reason. :0

  2. vacelts says:

    With a name like Wallace, you should have be first in line at whiskey tastings. In fact, I believe there is a Wallace Scotch. Check it out http://www.xs4all.nl/~josvg/scot/liqueurs/wallace.html

    Cheers!

  3. Adam's Blog says:

    2007 National Tartan Day Weekend Open Trackbacks

    It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.-Declaration of Arbroath

    Nearly half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were…

  4. Diane says:

    Now, for just a little bit of trivia. If Whiskey is truly Scottish it is spelled “W H I S K Y”, if it is American made it is spelled “W H I S K E Y”.
    Happy Tartan Day to all my Scottish family and friends.

    “Eat yer harts out laddies and lassies, and have a wee ol’ time this day”

  5. vacelts says:

    Adam, I agree with you. It’s very important that we don’t lose sight of our heritage. I think it’s important to know where you can from in order to know where you are going.

    I’ve had a great time discovering my Celtic heritage. The festivals and various events have been very educational. We hope that our children will take as much enjoyment in celebrating their heritage as we do.

    Happy Tartan Day!

  6. rcrawford79 says:

    What a great day! Instead of just a day, we Scotts should have a full month as do the Hispanics and the African-Americans have. Without the hard work of the Scotts and Irish, where would our nation be. Cheers!

  7. james says:

    There is a move for a “National Scots,Scots-Irish Heritage Month” here in the U.S. If you would like more information concerning this,go to : electricscotland.com,then click on “whats new”,then go to “June 16th,click on “National Scots,Scots-Irish Heritage Month” in N.C.We urge everyone to get involved!

  8. Kirsty says:

    Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble (and also provide a bit of trivia)

    The Scots don’t have a Tartan Day or anything like it, it’s sounds like an american invention for those of scottish descent to celebrate their roots. I’m Scottish living in Scotland. We only celebrate Burns Night (celebrating the life of Roburt Burns) I don’t remember what date that falls on. The Irish have St Patricks Day. The closest we would get is a St Andrews Day and the first minister has been trying to persuade the government to widely declare that as a day of celebration (and a bank holiday) but the powers that be aren’t buying it.

    Basically no-one here celebrates being scottish. or wears tartan, ever. Except maybe at weddings, hogmanay and whenever ScotlandFC manages to qualify for anything =)

  9. vacelts says:

    Kristy, Tartan Day is an American invention to honor our Scottish heritage.

  10. […] words at the Second Virginia Convention. Henry eventually became Virginias first elected governor. Celebrate Your Scottish Heritage with Tartan Day Napping at Red Lights "The feeling of awe and sense of wonder arises from the recognition of the deep mystery […]

  11. james says:

    To Kirsty,just because you don’t care about your ancestry is pitiful!I’m sure you don’t speak for the many,that travel here to celebrate our games,you must not know about the upcoming gathering of Scots around the world,who will be coming to “your” country to celebrate thier bloodlines,spending millions,but don’t you dare enjoy economic benefits from that!As a Scottish-American ,I have the right,privilage and pride to do as I please.Everyone should be proud of who they are regardless of nationality or ethnicity.Maybe you should take some initiative and lobby for something.You either stand for something or you stand for nothing!Feel free to contact me directly,maybe I can help you understand.

  12. Angus Og says:

    Poor Kirsty,
    Its not an “American” invention at all, the holiday was invented in 1320 by Scots. We sure celebrate it on Skye, and it’s celebrated by Scots and their desendants and our friends all over the world. The modern celebration of the holiday started as early as 1991, and not in the USA but by a British Commonwealth nation; the Canadian Government. shortly after others started to celebrate like Captain Cook’s Alaska Highlanders Pipes and Drums in Alaska, Groups in Auatralia, and New Zealand.
    the Americans didnt pick it up until they were petitioned to do so by scots and other os Scots and Scots-irish ancestry in 1997. then in 1998, to honor the reconvening of the Scottish parliment after several hundred years of recess on April 6th (interesting date eh?) 1998. This years tartan day was the 10 anniversary of the modern Scottish pariment which I know most of us scots are happy to have. I hope in the least your aware of that and that you have cause to celebrate Kirsty. If not, I pitty you.

    The anglesized government chose to teach scots children little of their own history, and what little has been taught was not taught with a slant to the english. That is slowly changing as we gain back out government, identity, and independance. Scottish independance is inevitible and may be coming sooner than anyone realises.

  13. Angus Og says:

    Kirsty,
    You must also not be aware of other tartan day celabrations IN SCOTLAND. The city of Aberdeen celebrates tartan day in the summer with a parade and many other events. Other Scottish citiescelebrate it on April 6th just as the americans and others:

    Scotland’s Tartan Day events:

    Tartan Day is celebrated all over the world but where better to celebrate it than in Scotland? next year come and join us!
    this year March 29 marked the start of a week of festivities across Scotland. Seven days of gala dinners, thought-provoking debates, celebrity-studded receptions, a special Robert The Bruce Celebration and international sporting events, including top class golf tournaments, culminating in the historic re-enactment of the Signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
    Led by knights on horseback and followed by nobles and clergy, Robert The Bruce rode through the streets of Arbroath to Arbroath Abbey, where he was overseen the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the document which announced the birth of democracy.
    Almost 700 years after the Declaration was signed, on April 6, 2008, once more the ancient walls of Arbroath Abbey witnessd history in the making – and you could have been there, too.

    Tartan Day celebrations across Scotland
    Eight areas of Scotland took part in Tartan Day 2008 by hosting events celebrating Scotland’s history, heritage, legacy and future. Across Scotland, a vast range of local celebrations took place. From haggis hurling to ceilidhs to competitions to find the best new bands – it all hppened in Scotland during the week leading up to Tartan Day and on Tartan Day itself!

    • Angus Tartan Day
    • Dundee Tartan Day
    • East Lothian Tartan Day
    • East Renfrewshire Tartan Day
    • Fife Tartan Day
    • Perth & Kinross Tartan Day
    • Stirling Tartan Day
    • West Lothian Tartan Day

  14. vacelts says:

    Angus, glad to see someone else enjoying their Scottish heritage.

  15. Angus Og says:

    Sterling Tartan Day
    Tartan Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. Tartan Day was Sunday 6th April but there were events in the week leading up to it.

    Sat 29 Mar –
    – Tartan Day Farmers’ Market – Port Street 10am-4pm – local produce and crafts
    – Stirling Youth Gathering – traditional music projects – Tolbooth 3pm £
    – Daimh and Lisa Knapp – Scottish Irish and Cape Breton music – Tolbooth 8pm £

    Sun 30 March –
    – Stirling Council Schools Concert – Albert Halls £
    – Play Me Something – Director Timothy Neat and siunger Margaret Bennet – Tolbooth £

    Thurs 3 April –
    – The Big Ballet – “a comedy ballet of weight, elegance and humour” – Albert Halls £

    Fri 4 April –
    – Stand Out Comedy Presents “Johnson and Boswell Late but Live” devised by Stewart Lee who brought Jerry Springer The Opera. Macrobert £

    Sat 5 April –
    – Costumed actors present dramatic performances about William Wallace.
    – Highland dance performances
    – Stirling Council genealogy and archives advice
    – all at the Thistle Shopping Centre from 12.15pm
    – Beat That – female samba band, other musical and children’s entertainment
    – Port Street from 12.30 pm
    – Tartan Day Ceilidh – The Last Tram to Auchenshoogle Ceilidh Band – £4 / £3 conc – Albert Halls 7.30opm

    Sun 6 April –
    – Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band display – Port Street and King Street
    – other entertainment throughout day
    – Pipes and Drums of Central Scotland Police
    – The Cluaran Highland Dancers display
    – Stirling Castle Esplanade – 5pm

    Sat 29 Mar – Sun 6 April
    – programme of short filmns and display of artwork by Norman McLaren, Stirling-born Oscar and Bafta winning filmmaker

    All free unless shown £ which are probably chargeable.

    Links:
    http://www.stirling.gov.uk/alberthalls
    http://www.stirling.gov.uk/tolbooth
    http://www.macrobert.org
    http://www.visitstirling.org

  16. Angus Og says:

    Don’t beleive anyone that says its an american invention, and that scots dont celebrate it

  17. james says:

    The North Carolina General Assembly ratified HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 2067,a bill ACKNOWLEDGING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE SCOTS AND SCOTS-IRISH TO NORTH CAROLINA.It also recognizes the month of April as “NATIONAL SCOTS,SCOTS-IRISH HERITAGE MONTH.Proud to be of Scottish heritage!

  18. james says:

    If you support the month of April as “National Scots,Scots-Irish Heritage Month”,you can sign an “online petition’ at http://www.thecapitalscot.com,then click on “sign the petition.

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