The Celebration of Tartan Day in the United States

Tartan day is celebrated annually on April 6 by the Scottish diaspora living in the US. It is a fun celebration full of music, singing and dancing, drinking and gambling, and men wearing kilts. Top online casino promos for NJ players will surely come in handy to all those who decide to celebrate Tartan Day by engaging in an entertaining online gambling session with friends.

April 6 has a huge significance in Scottish history, since it was the date when the Scottish declaration of independence, the Declaration of Arbroath, was signed in 1320, seeking to assert Scotland as an independent kingdom.

Scottish communities in the US gather on this day to celebrate their heritage. Typically, the celebration involves pipe bands, Highland Dancing competitions, as well as other traditional Scottish events. Tartan day was first officially recognized in Canada in 1991 but quickly spread to other countries with large populations of Scottish descent. In the US, the holiday was adopted in 1998. In Australia, it takes place on July 1, the date when the Act of Proscription, banning people from wearing tartan, was annulled in 1782. Australian Scots wear tartan on that day to reconnect with their past and mark this significant legal victory.

Of all the events taking place on Tartan day across the US, the biggest is certainly the Tartan Day Parade in New York. This year the Parade celebrated its 20th anniversary. It was held on 7 April and was led by KT Tunstall, an acclaimed Scottish singer, as Grand Marshal. She was the first woman ever to lead the New York Tartan Day Parade. “I’m delighted to participate in this twenty-year tradition and very proud to be the first female solo Grand Marshal,” said KT Tunstall. “It is especially meaningful to step into this role with the movement for gender equality picking up great speed all over the world. I’m always happy to celebrate my roots as a Scottish musician, and I’ve never felt more empowered in my own career than I do now, it’s an exciting time.” (source:

The Parade includes pipers and drummers dressed in traditional Scottish kilts with tartan patterns. Tartan has a special place in Scottish history because of the attempts to ban it that lead to recognition of tartan as the Scottish national dress. The days prior to and after the Parade, called “Tartan Week” are also full of Scottish-themed events.

Bagpipes concerts and Highland Dancing are the most notable events marking the celebration. The Great Highland bagpipe is the ancient instrument native to Scotland. It was originally used in the military context, but ceòl mòr, a complex solo art music genre is also performed on it. Highland dancing was developed in XIX and XX centuries as a form of competition during traditional Highland games. It is a solo dance combining Gaelic folk dance with elements of classical ballet.  

Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio congratulated all the Scottish Americans and organizers of the Parade with these words: “Today, I am delighted to join with Scottish New Yorkers as they observe the 20th Anniversary of National Tartan Day and continue a week of celebratory events that features an exuberant parade of kilt-clad revellers marching up Sixth Avenue.”