Get to Know Your Scottish-American Heritage!
The primary mission of the Missouri Tartan Day Festivities is to educate the public about Scottish-American culture using a variety of performers, skilled artisans, musicians and animal experts. This year, we have an outstanding collection of individuals and groups that will make your visit to our festival enjoyable and educational.
If you would like to participate in the Missouri Tartan Day Festivities with an educational booth or exhibit, please contact Shawn Steadman via our contact page.
Some Scottish Definitions to Enhance Your Tartan Day Experience
Tartan Day: Tartan
Day celebrates the existing and historical links between
Scotland and Scottish descendants in North America. In the
United States it is estimated that there are 6 million people
who claim Scottish descent. Tartan Day is held on April
6, the anniversary of the date on which the Declaration of
Arbroath was created in 1320. Definition from en.wikipedia.org.
Declaration of Arbroath: The Declaration of Arbroath
was a declaration of Scottish Independence, and set out to
confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign
state and its use of military action when unjustly attacked. It
is in the form of a letter submitted to Pope John XXII, dated
6 April 1320. Sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles, the
letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. The others
were a letter from the King of Scots, King Robert I, and a
letter from four Scottish bishops which all presumably made similar
points. Definition from en.wikipedia.org.
Kilt: The kilt
is an item of traditional Scottish Highland dress.
Nowadays most Scotsmen see it as formal dress. It is generally
worn only at weddings or other formal occasions, although there
are still a few people who wear it daily.
a length of woollen tartan cloth 1.5 m in
width and up to 5 m in length. Worn as a cloak, over the left
shoulder with a wide belt, this was the 'great kilt',
the Feileadh Bhreacain or Feileadh Mor. The great kilt was an
untailored draped garment made of cloth gathered up into
pleats by hand and secured by the belt. The age of the great
kilt is hotly debated but it certainly existed at the beginning
of the 17th century.
After the unrest
of the 18th century, the kilt, along with other
features of Gaelic culture became identified with the
Jacobites. As a result the Dress Act of 1747 made it illegal to wear
the kilt in Scotland; the law was repealed in 1783. An
exception was made in the years following 1747 to allow the kilt to
be worn in the military -- made to try to increase recruitment
into the army and placate the Highlanders at a time when the
British government could ill afford another civil war with the
Highlands of Scotland. Definition
The Tartan describes the distinctive
checkered pattern generally worked out in a woven material such
as woolen cloth. Each particular pattern is known as a "sett".
Such tartan material is a characteristically Scottish product.
Historically in each district the local weavers produced a
distinctive tartan pattern or sett. Thus members of the same
clan probably wore the particular tartan woven and dyed in their
neighborhood. The distinctive sett adopted by the chief and his
relatives became traditionally the "Clan Tartan."
When the statutory ban of Highland Dress was removed in 1702,
the wearing of the clan tartan was a matter of pride. Definition
When one thinks of Ireland, its national symbol, the Celtic
harp, springs immediately to mind. In the case of Scotland, the
same can be said of the Great Highland Bagpipes.
Across all continents,
more than 200 different varieties of bagpipes are being played
today. In every corner of the world where Celtic people have
settled, the bagpipes or Piob have been absorbed into and
become an important part of the culture.
the centuries, as people have migrated from country to country
along the major trade routes, the bagpipes made the journey
with them. Reed pipes and bagpipes spread across the Middle
East, and through Asia via the Silk Road, and then to points ever
more distant. In each destination, the instrument took on a
different form. Today, most European countries have their own
unique type of bagpipes—including France, Germany, Spain,
Italy, Bulgaria, Russia and Sweden, among others--and each
type of bagpipes has its own distinctive sound. The reed pipe
of ancient times underwent a process of evolution that would
eventually produce not only the bagpipes, but also the
orchestral woodwind known as the oboe, as well as the bombarde of French
Brittany. Definition from celtic-instruments.com
Many of the animals we Americans know and love today have Scottish
origins. The Clydesdale draught horse, made popular by
Anheuser-Busch, is a Scottish breed. Popular dog breeds, that
many of us have as pets, such as the Scottish Terrier and the
Westhighland White Terrier (or Westie), Border Terrier, Cairn
Terrier, Shetland Sheep Dog, Collie, Bearded Collie and Border
Collie are all Scottish dog breeds. Rounding out the
list are Furry Highland Cattle and sheep, favorites at many