Some holidays have everything — parades, music, and dancing. But men wearing skirts? No, not skirts, but kilts featuring the tartan, or plaid▼ patterns. These patterns, important symbols of Scottish heritage▼, are where Tartan Day takes its name from.
The tartan pattern is not native to Scotland but came to the highlands of Scotland sometime in the 16th century. It was soon adopted and became part of Scottish culture. Then in the 1800s, the tartan was used to tell which area of the highlands a person came from by looking at the color and pattern. Later, the tartan came to represent specific highland clans▼, or family groups.
Today, tartan kilts are worn to celebrate Scottish culture on Tartan Day on April 6th. It is celebrated mainly outside of Scotland by the children of Scottish immigrants. Actually, the first Tartan Day was held in New York City in 1982. Nowadays, the holiday is marked with high-kicking highland dancing, bagpipe music, and other celebrations of all things Scottish. And of course, everyone around the world who has a little bit of Scottish in them proudly puts on their tartan and kilt. For them, it's the best holiday of the year.
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