Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish heritage on April 6, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. An ad hoc event was held in New York City in 1982, but the current format originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s.
Canada estimates 15.1% or 4.7 million Canadians claim Scottish descent. As stated above, Tartan Day in Canada originated with a proposal from the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia and has since been proclaimed by all the provincial legislatures. In 2007 Peter Stoffer introduced a Private member’s bill for “An Act respecting a Tartan Day”. Progress of the bill was interrupted by the 2008 election, but it has been resubmitted.
An annual ‘Gathering of the Clans’ will take place each April 6 or on the Sunday nearest to it on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at noon with pipes, drums, and dancing hosted by the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, Canada’s oldest civilian pipe band. The 2011 celebrations marked the first time that Tartan Day has been celebrated with Canada’s official tartan having been named: the Maple Leaf.