Although St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a federally recognized holiday in the United States, it is certainly a culturally recognized one. As noted last month, once a year, almost everyone takes the opportunity to celebrate, even if it is mostly in the form of the consumption of liquor (admittedly, a popular Irish pastime if songs are to be believed).
But, in all this celebration, we are forgetting some close (ish) cousins of the Irish. And if you’re Scottish, curious, easily excitable, or any combination of the above, you may be wondering: why does Ireland get a splashy holiday but Scotland doesn’t?
Well my friends, let me present to you: National Tartan Day.
Tartan Day, celebrated on April 6, began in Canada, where a large part of the Scottish diaspora is located. April 6th marks the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, a letter written to Pope John XXII in 1320 denouncing English attempts to subjugate Scotland (an experience the Irish could relate to, incidentally). But because it hasn’t been commercialized like St. Patrick’s Day, it is less well known in the United States (that bastion of capitalism).
Tartan Day is celebrated by the Scottish in much the same way as St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by true Irishmen and women: with family, friends, music, dance, food—and yes, drink—and, of course, wearing tartan.
So, on this festive occasion, I recommend you don the tartan of your ancestors—as every Scottish family and clan has their own tartan design. If you’re not Scottish, you can always wear the Lovat tartan featured in this month’s header art, and pretend you’re Jamie Fraser from Outlanders.
If you don’t have any plaid handy, here’s a free user icon to get you started: