Tartan Day is a chance for people around the world to celebrate their connections to Scotland. First recognised in Canada in 1987, the event is now marked around the world.  

From family heritage, doing business, studying or a favourite destination, Tartan Day provides an opportunity to celebrate this flourishing connection.  

Tartan Day was founded in Nova Scotia as an annual celebration of Scottish culture and heritage, and has grown more popular every year. In the US, it was declared ‘Tartan Day’ by the Senate in 1998 to celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.  

Tartan Day NYC Tartan Day Parade Photo credit: Instagram @kiltedyogis

The biggest global celebration is held in New York, with a week of events culminating in the NYC Tartan Day Parade, which takes place this year on Saturday 6 April. 

Tartan Day is an opportunity to celebrate this special connection from across the globe. Scotland is not just a place, it’s a feeling, and if you could bottle it, the spirit would warm the hearts of people all over the world.  

Yet we're not talking whisky - we're talking about the thousands of people who come together every year to celebrate the spirit of Scotland. 


From its origin in North America, Tartan Day has grown to be celebrated around the world, from Australia and New Zealand to Argentina.  

In some locations, including the US and Canada, Tartan Day is marked on 6 April. This date coincides with the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath – Scotland's own Declaration of Independence – which took place in 1320.  

In Australia and New Zealand, Scottish heritage is marked with an International Tartan Day on 1 July, celebrating the repeal of an Act of Parliament that banned the wearing of tartan.  

Fast-forward to today and these global celebrations proves that Scotland is now, more than ever, on the world stage. Our generosity of spirit, progressive mindset and innovative streak are the beating heart of a small nation with a huge global ambition. 


Tartan Day highlights the important business and trade connections North America has with Scotland. When you source from Scotland, you are trading with a country doing smart things with data, digital and technology – developing intelligent, low carbon, sustainable solutions to help improve people’s lives and protect the planet.

World-leading innovation, talent, a supportive business environment, and enviable quality of life make Scotland the perfect place to grow your business.

Global companies such as JP Morgan, GSK and Amazon, as well as fast-growing startups, have chosen to expand in Scotland. We support companies to create good, green, well-paying jobs that will improve the wellbeing of people and communities.

Scottish companies pride themselves on their unique skills of craftsmanship and design. Heritage, quality and provenance, innovation, sustainability, and world-leading design. Scotland delivers on every level.

Discover more about doing business in Scotland on the SDI website.


Scotland has a long tradition of welcoming students from North America to study at one of our 19 higher education institutions.   

There are currently over 7,000 students from the USA and Canada studying undergraduate or postgraduate courses, which represents nearly 10% of our total international student population. 

Many of our universities offer scholarships specifically for North American students. Many also have strong ties to sister universities, offering exchange programmes so that students from the USA and Canada can experience the unique mix of stunning outdoors and vibrant city life that Scotland has to offer. Our visa programme means that graduates can stay in Scotland - for up to two years after they graduate. 

From gaming technology to space sciences, Scotland’s unique and innovative courses make it a world-leading destination for North American students. Did you know you can even study the history of tartan on our fashion and textile courses? 

The Scottish Government also supports ground-breaking research and development projects through research grants. There is currently a wide range of bespoke research studies happening right now in Scotland, from research in virtual reality aiding motion sickness to decommissioning oil rigs in a sustainable way to support Scotland’s net zero goals. 

Discover more about studying in Scotland.


Tartan Day is an amazing opportunity for people to reconnect with all they love about Scotland. In equal measure, the event is also a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about why Scotland is such a special place in the world to live, work, study and do business. 

Tartan Day celebrations around the world serve as a reminder that Scotland offers a transformative journey like no other; an immersive experience which marries ancient history with modern luxury in new and surprising ways, all against the vibrant tapestry of Scotland’s unique and distinctive culture.

Visitors to Scotland feel a connection with the country, its people, and its heritage, from deep-rooted ancestral connection to a sense of connection with the Scotland they’ve seen on film and television, our rich musical traditions, or a yearning for adventure in our unspoiled natural playground. 

Upwards of 40 million people across the world claim Scottish ancestry, Tartan Day strikes a chord through exciting music, theatre, and art.

Want to know why Scotland’s such a special place? Explore more about why Scotland should be on your wishlist.

Tartan Day in Canada

In Canada, Tartan Day is an annual celebration of Scottish culture and heritage, with the government making it an official day of celebration.

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Tartan Day in the USA

In the USA, Tartan Day is an annual celebration of the contribution of Scottish Americans to the United States, as well as a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. 

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Our Global Community

Millions of people around the world share a special connection to Scotland. There are lots of ways to get involved in our global community.

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*Photo credit (man in kilt playing bagpipes): Instagram @thefirstpiper