National Tartan Day is celebrated in the United States on April 6 in honor of Scottish heritage. This date is a special commemoration of the Declaration of Arbroath, which was a letter written by the nobles of Scotland to the Pope in 1320. The letter asked the Pope to recognize Scotland as an independent kingdom from England that was attempting to subjugate it, and recognize Robert Bruce, as the country's legitimate king. What many people don't know is that the Declaration of Arbroath was the foundation for the Declaration of Independence when America declared itself free of British rule.Today, over 11 million Americans claim Scottish and Scottish-Irish roots, making them the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States.
There are many ways to celebrate National Tartan Day even if you aren't Scottish! We celebrate tartans year round as reflected in the name of our brand. BraeVal is a Scottish word for the Upland River Valleys that exist between the mountains and the rugged brae of the Scottish Highlands, where streams and rivers tumble to the loch and sea.
National Tartan Day is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new tartan shirt online or by visiting our shop. BraeVals custom tartan designs are simply striking and one of the most comfortable and durable shirts you will ever wear. They are made out of technically advanced proprietary, all-natural Tierra fabric that is ring spun out of merino wool and long staple cotton. If you are in the Litchfield area, be sure to drop into our shop in the center of town, we would love to see you.
Another way to celebrate National Tartan Day is with traditional Scottish foods like haggis, Scottish pie, smoked salmon, tatties (mashed potatoes), herring, shortbread, and a wee dram of whisky! To add to the celebration, watch your favorite Scottish movie. An oldie but goodie is Whisky Galore, a comedy where Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship. According to the Scottish Statesman, two of the top movies about Scotland include The Angel's Share, set in Glasgow, that tells the tale of a father that narrowly avoids jail and visits a whisky distillery to find inspiration, and the classic, Highlander that follows the adventures of the immortal warrior of Clan MacLeod.
Sipping on a wee dram, you might want to listen to your favorite Scottish music. If you don't have any no worries, just Google, Utube, or Spotify Celtic music.
Have a poetry reading - reciting Robert Burns of course! Or, read portions of the Declaration of Arbroath to see why the founders of our country were inspired. “As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”
In New York, there is a week long celebration of Scottish heritage with events organized throughout the city. The star attraction is the Tartan Day Parade that boasts more than 3,000 Highland Dancers, drummers and bagpipers from across America. This year the parade begins at 2 p.m. at the corner of West 45th Street to 6th Avenue. From here the route leads to 55th Street always along 6th Avenue. This is your chance to embrace Scottish culture. In 2023, the parade will take place on April 15.
In addition to the parade, you can head to Ellis Island where the Clan Currie Society, one of the largest in the U.S., holds their Tartan Day celebrations with pipers, drummers, and Highland dancers. Attendees of this free event also get to taste some traditional Scottish food and drink.
We hope that these ideas inspire you to celebrate National Tartan Day this year and for many years to come.