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What (and when) is National Tartan Day?

Did you know April 6 is National Tartan Day? It’s true! National Tartan Day is a relatively new holiday in the United States. The U.S. only began celebrating it in the last 20 years. (Oregon Tartan Day is April 12, so we Oregonians have double the chances to celebrate.) Keep reading to learn how to celebrate National Tartan Day, get tartan outfit ideas, and more.

what-is-national-tartan-day

Why April 6?

April 6 is a pretty momentous day in Scottish history. (Think of it as Scotland’s 4th of July.) On this day in 1320, Scottish officials signed the Declaration of Arbroath, signifying their independence from England. Some historians even say it inspired America’s Declaration of Independence!

What happens on National Tartan Day?

 National Tartan Day celebrates Scotland’s freedom, as well as Scots’ impact on America’s history and culture. (Did you know that many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent? Today, roughly 6 million Americans say they’re of Scottish descent.) To celebrate, people wear their family tartan (or simply their favorite), and there are parades and events in various cities with bagpipers, Highland dancing, Scottish food…and plenty of kilts, of course.

Wait, what are tartans?

Here’s a quick refresher on tartans. In a nutshell, a tartan is a plaid that’s been officially listed on the Scottish Register of Tartans, most likely due to familial significance. (All tartans are plaids, but not all plaids are tartans.) Most tartans are worn by Scottish clans to show their family pride. Here at Pendleton, we create blankets and clothing in famous tartans like Black Watch. We’ve also created some of our own tartans, like the Pendleton Hunting Tartan, registered in 1999:

pendleton-hunting-tartan

Here are a few well-known tartans—Black Watch, Rob Roy and Black Stewart:

three-popular-tartans

 

What to wear for National Tartan Day

 Tartan, obviously. But beyond that, if you need outfit ideas for National Tartan Day, we’ve got you covered! There are lots of plaid Pendleton shirts to choose from, some of which are also tartans:

mens-tartan-plaid-shirts

Left to right: MacLeod Tartan, Douglas Tartan, Murray of Atholl Tartan, Stewart Tartan

Pendleton offers plenty of women’s tartan clothing as well, from shirts and blouses to skirts and dresses. And if you just want to curl up under a cozy tartan blanket, Pendleton makes those too, from machine-washable blankets to a luxurious, supersoft throw. Having a party for National Tartan Day? Serve up some smoked salmon or haggis on these lively tartan plates:

tartan-plates

Once you’ve got your festive tartan, celebrate by reading some poetry by Scottish writer Robert Burns, listening to bagpipe music or Auld Lang Syne, finding a parade in your area or simply wishing someone happy National Tartan Day!

How will you celebrate National Tartan Day this year?