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National 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 National Tartan Day a Public Holiday?

National Tartan Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Saturday, April 6, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Saturday opening hours in Canada.

Scottish Highland dancers perform at a National 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.

National Tartan Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010TueApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2011WedApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2012FriApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2013SatApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2014SunApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2015MonApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2016WedApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2017ThuApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2018FriApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2019SatApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 
2020MonApr 6National Tartan DayObservance 

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