When is Tartan Day?

02 April 2023
Bs_As_celebra_Escocia_(7085598337)-70511.jpg Tartan Day parade in Buenos Aires, copyright Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Find out when Tartan Day is, and how this special day is celebrated in Scotland, the original home of tartan, and elsewhere in the world.

Tartan Day is celebrated on 6 April each year and is a worldwide celebration of Scottish heritage.

Communities around the world take part in Tartan Day, organising parades, ceilidhs, meetings and talks. One of the best known Tartan Day events is the New York Tartan Day Parade, which is held on the Saturday nearest to 6 April, as part of New York Tartan Week.

The 2023 New York Tartan Day parade is scheduled for 15 April and you can find out more on the NYC tartan week website.

Despite its strong New York connections, Tartan Day was actually established in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1987, after a proposal by the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia.

The date 6 April has special significance in Scottish history as it was on this day in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath was signed. The Declaration was drawn up at Arbroath Abbey and addressed to Pope John XXII. It was intended to confirm that Scotland was an independent state which had the right to defend itself.

Tartan Day in Scotland

Although Tartan Day celebrations tend to be focused on diaspora communities outwith Scotland, Angus Council established the first Scottish Tartan Day in 2004 and has since been followed by towns and cities including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Montrose, Perth and Glasgow.

Content continues after advertisements

QUICK LINK: What tartan can I wear?

Further reading

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Tartan: A Complete Guide to Over 400 tartans by Iain Zaczek.

Originally published February 2018, reviewed April 2023.