April 6, 2011

National Tartan Day – U.S.

Today is a day to honor your Scottish ancestors—if you've got 'em!

Why April 6? The date goes back a loooong time, to April 6, 1320, when the “Scottish Declaration of Independence” was signed by Scottish nobility in Arbroath Abbey.

Why “tartan”? Tartan is a plaid pattern of criss-crossing horizontal and vertical stripes in various colors. Scottish kilts almost always have a tartan pattern. The pattern is not called “plaid” in Scotland; a plaid is a tartan cloth worn slung over the shoulder, or a tartan blanket. Different tartan patterns, with distinctive colors, used to be associated with the region of Scotland in which it was made, but since the mid-1800s, the different tartans came to be associated with different clans (families).

Find out more about Tartan Day here.

Find out more about tartans here.

Try making your own tartan, or perhaps a Scottish stick puppet.

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