In 1998, the US Senate designated 6 April as National Tartan Day to honor “the outstanding contribution of millions of Scottish-Americans to our great nation” and the House of Representatives passed a similar resolution in 2005. The date of 6 April was chosen because it was also the date of the signing, in 1320, of the Declaration of Arbroath—the model for the American Declaration of Independence.
New York City has celebrated Tartan Day since 1999. The celebrations and events have increased so much each year that it is now referred to as Tartan Week. Most of the events are FREE and highlight the many facets of Scottish culture – both past and present.
The opening ceremony is Saturday, 31 March at the Scottish Village, in Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal. The village, open daily, gives visitors a chance to experience Scottish culture with historical displays, help and advice on getting started on your ancestral heritage research, vacationing and golf tips, and shopping and entertainment.
While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Loch Ness Monster zone where you can learn all about Nessie and meet Adrian Shine, the world’s leading authority on the Loch Ness Monster and head researcher on the ongoing Loch Ness Project.
Ellis Island is also celebrating Tartan Day on Saturday, 7 April, with a family-friendly heritage day featuring Scottish pipes and drums, storytelling and dance. The program is sponsored by the Clan Currie Society and will mark the sixth annual observance of National Tartan Day on Ellis Island.
The week of celebrations will end with a huge Tartan Week Parade down 6th Avenue.