National Tartan Day in Canada

When:
April 6, 2016 all-day
2016-04-06T00:00:00-07:00
2016-04-07T00:00:00-07:00

Tartans of all varieties are worn on Tartan Day, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions of Scots and their descendants in Canada on April 6.

Tartan Day Canada Church Scottish Highland dancers perform at a National Tartan Day celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. ©iStockphoto.com/PaulMcKinnon

Scottish Highland dancers perform at a National Tartan Day celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario.

What Do People Do?

Tartan Day celebrations include parades with pipe bands, highland dancing and sports, and other community gatherings with Scottish-themed events. While a variety of tartans are displayed, the maple leaf tartan is Canada’s official tartan.

Public Life

Tartan Day is an observance and not a public holiday in Canada.

Background

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on April 6 because it is the anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, the Scottish declaration of independence. In Canada, the day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia, where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in.

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