Tartan Day in Australia
International Tartan Day is widely celebrated throughout the world and in Australia and New Zealand this very special day is celebrated on July 1st. Which is also the anniversary of the Repeal Proclamation of 1782 annulling the Act of Proscription of 1747, which had made wearing tartan an offense punishable with up to seven years’ transportation.
Due to this most Scots that assimilated to Australia hid their tartan and they almost disappeared. Consequently, Tartan Day, is to help Australian Scots reconnect with their Scottish ancestry. Over Three million Australians are either Scottish or of Scottish descent so it’s no wonder we celebrate our heritage.
In 1989 the Scottish Australian Heritage Council began to encourage Australians to wear tartan on July 1, when more than half a million Australians gather for a celebration of Scottish heritage, combining nostalgia with Australian citizenship ceremonies. Australians without a family tartan are invited to wear the Royal Stewart tartan or the military tartan of the Black Watch.
Tartan articles worn on the day include hats, ties and socks. There are many pipe band associations in both Australia and New Zealand, some originating in disbanded Second World War army battalions, and almost 30 heritage events in Australia alone.
Since 2001 the Scottish Australian Heritage Council and Australian branch of the Scottish National Party have petitioned Canberra for federal recognition of International Tartan Day to celebrate the Scottish contribution to Australian history.
Tartan day originated in Canada in the mid-1980’s and falls on April 6th, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. These days are typically celebrated with parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and other Scottish-themed events.
But where, some of you must be wondering, did Tartan come from? Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours and originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials.
Even though the tartan kilt is synonymous with Scotland, there are other cultures that have used a similar style of clothing and cultures that have used a similar style of pattern in their clothing. The exact introduction of tartan in Scotland is not known but many believe it has been around since ancient times.
For several centuries, tartan remained part of the everyday garb of the Highlander. Whilst tartan was worn in other parts of Scotland, it was in the Highlands that its development continued and so it became synonymous with the symbol of clan kinship.
So weather you’re at work, home or any social gathering show your Tartan to one and all.