Get Your Scots On

Robbie Burns Day may be a distant memory, but another chance to put on your kilt, grab your pipes and drums, and celebrate your Scottish heritage will take place this Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Observance of National Tartan Day is April 6, and although not currently an official holiday, it was originally created to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 in Scotland. For those who have never heard of it, the document was a declaration of Scottish independence from England. It is a widely accepted belief that the American Declaration of Independence was based on the original Scottish proclamation. Tartan Day has been celebrated in Canada since 1986, but it was the work of Ms. Jean Watson and a dedicated team in Nova Scotia over 16 years that brought it to all ten provinces.

This year, the celebration will take place on Parliament Hill, starting at 12pm sharp. Headed by the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, there will be a one hour concert that will feature traditional Scottish bagpipes and drums. Dancers from the Katharine Robinson School of Dance and the Champagne School of Dance will wow audiences with highland dancing, and joining them will be a demonstration of step dancing from the MacCulloch School of Dance. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will also be on hand to showcase their talents, along with the Ottawa Catholic School Board Children’s Choir.

Rain or shine, National Tartan Day is sure to be a great way to spend an afternoon. Whether you are of Scottish descent, directly off the boat from Scotland, or have no Scottish blood in your DNA at all, who can resist the call of the pipes or the beat of the drums? Be sure to make plans to join the fun this Sunday.