What is Tartan Day?

Tartan Day is a day for Scotland to celebrate our connections with the USA and Canada. It was declared by the Senate in 1998 to celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States. 

Thousands of people across the USA and Canada unite every year to celebrate Tartan Day. Many people have a strong connection to Scotland from their family history, doing business, studying or it being their favourite vacation destination, and on 6 April 2024 they will get to celebrate their connections in sensational style.

In Canada, Tartan Day is an annual celebration of Scottish culture and heritage, with the government making it an official day of celebration. The day originated in Canada in the mid-1980s in Nova Scotia and has grown more popular every year, being adopted by people across the globe since the 1990s.

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 US and Canadian people who come together every year to celebrate the spirit of Scotland.    

Tartan Day unites everyone who loves to celebrate everything they value about Scotland. From those with Scottish ancestry, and those taking their studies abroad, to businesses finding a home and those people who simply want to delve deeper into Scotland's unique culture, Tartan Day has something for everyone.

Celebrating Scotland in style

The event traces its own roots back to the mid-1980s, and since then it's continued to to build momentum across the USA and Canada, growing larger each year. The reason it is celebrated in the first week of April is to coincide with the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath - Scotland's own Declaration of Independence - which was signed in 1320.

Fast-forward to today and the event 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.

From Scottish ceilidh dances to Tartan Day cocktails and the parade itself, a week-long series of events enables people to live and breathe the spirit of Scotland. The celebrations showcase North America’s connections to Scotland. The event offers much more for eager participants to raise a glass, not to mention their heart rates. The schedule is action-packed. All of this would be incomplete without the famous Tartan Day Parade, when pipes and drums parade proudly in New York.

Building our business connections

Tartan Day also highlights the important business and trade connections with Scotland. When you source from Scotland, you are trading with a country that has set global standards for climate change. We are proactively working to achieve Net Zero. We are a country that cares, and believes that long-term growth will come from prioritising our people and our planet. 

In Scotland we support companies to create good, green, well-paying jobs that will improve the wellbeing of people and communities across Scotland.

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.

Scottish culture in the heart of North America

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 invest.

For the past two decades, the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International, Visit Scotland and many other organisations have staged events, working together to create a uniquely-Scottish experience for everyone taking part.

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?

Here's why it should be on your wishlist to visit 

Tartan Day Parade

The annual Tartan Day Parade in New York showcases pipers and drummers who'll honour the contribution Scots have made to the USA.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn more