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Tartan Day in Canada

Tartans of all varieties are worn on Tartan Day, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions of Scots and their descendants in Canada on April 6.

Is Tartan Day a Public Holiday?

Tartan Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Scottish Highland dancers perform at a Tartan Day celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario.

©iStockphoto.com/PaulMcKinnon

What Do People Do?

Tartan Day celebrations include parades with pipe bands, highland dancing and sports, and other community gatherings with Scottish-themed events. While a variety of tartans are displayed, the maple leaf tartan is Canada’s official tartan.

Public Life

Tartan Day is an observance and not a public holiday in Canada.

Background

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on April 6 because it is the anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, the Scottish declaration of independence. In Canada, the day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia, where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in.

Tartan Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2017ThuApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2018FriApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2019SatApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2020MonApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2021TueApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2022WedApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2023ThuApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2024SatApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2025SunApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2026MonApr 6Tartan DayObservance
2027TueApr 6Tartan DayObservance

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.