Tartan Week

woman in red and blue plaid skirt and red crop top standing near green trees
Photo by Sagar Kumar on Pexels.com

It’s a celebration of all things Scottish which some Scots may not like but it is also a reminder of the strong links between the USA and Scotland: Tartan Week.

Scotland’s greatest export has always been its people known for their quality of education and skills. Wherever the Scots have gone, like so many migrants, they have taken with them aspects of their culture – language, dress, even religion. More than five million Americans claim Scottish ancestry.

Migrants add to the diversity and success of any country bringing in new energies and ideas.

Grave goods – tartan cloth late 18thC Orkney museum

Scotland has made tartan very much its own be it on items to wear or packaging of products and even furnishings. When you see tartan you think – Scotland. Today anyone can register a new tartan but it has to be officially recognised on The Scottish Register of Tartans. In the past these were all associated with Clans – family relationships and kinships – but now they can be for almost anything.

A private and corporal of a Highland Regiment, circa 1744. The private is wearing a belted plaid in the Government tartan

Tartan became such a powerful symbol of being Scottish that when the wearing of Highland dress was proscribed after Culloden that included tartan. Only to be very successfully restored by Sir Walter Scott when he organised the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822.

King George IV by David Wilkie

Tartan Week in New York runs from 6th to 10th April which includes the Tartan Day Parade on Saturday 9th April. It will celebrate the strong links between Scotland and the USA, not just through trade but culturally.

Angus Robertson, External Affairs Secretary in the Scottish Government will be attending a series of events and meetings during Tartan Week visiting both Canada and the USA.

Angus Robertson said:

“International trade and investment is key to growing our economy, and this week in Canada and the US I will emphasise the Scottish Government’s role in working with partners to support Scottish companies, and the benefits to investors of working with the Scottish Government and Scottish Development International.

“These thriving modern links can only add to the strong and time-tested relationship between North America and Scotland, which is forged in history and renewed each year in the warm and colourful celebration of Tartan Day.

“This year in particular, Tartan Day, on 6 April, is a timely reminder of the importance of friendship and community between nations, of celebrating shared histories, nurturing relationships, and upholding the values that we share and hold dear.”

Our second greatest export the poetry and songs of Robert Burns will be amongst the planned events.

No doubt this will all be toasted with more fantastic Scottish gifts to the world: Scotch whisky, salmon, oatcakes etc all to the skirl of the bagpipes.

Fiona Grahame

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2 replies »

  1. What an embarrassment to see the butcher’s apron. A flag of shame for the Scots and so many other nations.

    • Sadly, some Scots deep hatred and poor grasp of history, tarnish the rest of us in the rest of the liberal and enlightened world.

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