Today is the official day to get out your kilts, showcase your scottish roots or bring out the whiskey on the occasion of Tartan day.
Tartan day is the celebration of Scottish ancestry which takes place in a number of countries including the United States and Canada and more obscurely, Argentina. It is also celebrated in Australia and New Zealand, but on July 1, as it commemorates the repealing of the Proscription act that tried to force the Scots to assimilate by banning them from wearing tartan.
In the U.S. this day honours the Americans of Scottish descent that have played an influential role in the development of the United States. Today, over eleven million Americans claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots, making them the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States..if that's no reason to celebrate!
It was only in 1998 that National Tartan Day was officially recognized on a permanent basis when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing April 6th as National Tartan Day.
They picked that day to commemorate 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. Canada has been celebrating National Tartan Day since 1993.
On Tartan Day parades of pipe bands, highland dancing and other scottish-themed events usually take place, including events around genealogy or Scottish immigration.
This year, New York City will celebrate Tartan Day this coming Saturday April 10, with two thousand pipers and drummers taking part in the 12th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade. Scottish music and single malt whisky should be aplenty and other festivities are planned around the Parade such as a kilt charity fashion show.
Outside New York City, one of the largest Tartan Day celebrations in the United States takes place each year on the weekend closest to April 6 on the banks of the Missouri river in St. Charles, Missouri.