National Tartan Day 2020 in Canada

National Tartan Day 2020 in Canada will fall on 6 April like every year; however, it is not a public holiday in the country.

Let’s talk about National Tartan Day from the list of Holidays 2020. If you are unsure of when or how National Tartan Day 2020 should be celebrated in Canada, keep reading this article. You will get detailed insights about the celebration, when and why it is commemorated, and all that it entails.

National Tartan Day honours the Scottish diaspora in the country, celebrating their accomplishments and contributions.

When is National Tartan Day in 2020?


April, 2020


National Tartan Day in Canada

Is National Tartan Day In Canada A Public Holiday?

National Tartan Day in Canada is not a public holiday, is merely an observance, as per Holiday 2020. It falls on 6 April each year, and businesses, schools, retail stores, public transportations, etc. follow their usual schedule for the day.

National Tartan Day Holiday History In Canada

The history of National Tartan Day in Canada can be traced back to 1986. It originated in Nova Scotia (New Scotland) when the Federation of Scottish Clans proposed the idea of honouring and promoting their Scottish heritage. The President of Clan Lamont, Jean Watson, suggested 6 April as the day for this commemoration due to its significance in Scottish history. The Declaration of Arbroath was signed on 6 April 1320, which asserted Scotland’s independence, denouncing all attempts of the English to conquer it.

Nova Scotia announced the celebration of Tartan Day in 1987. Ontario was the next to follow in 1991, and soon British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta proclaimed the same in 1992. New Brunswick joined the fold the next year, Newfoundland & Labrador in 1995, and Quebec was the last to declare Tartan Day, in 2003. The Candian government officially announced it in 2010.


A tartan is a pattern on a cloth made of crisscrossing horizontal and vertical bands in various colours. They are majorly associated with Scotland and the Scottish due to the fact that kilts almost always have a tartan pattern. Numerous tartans today are attributed to the Scottish clans, many of which are even declared the ’Official Clan Tartan’ by chiefs. Although, anyone can design a tartan and name it whatever they want, officiating a tartan is a privilege awarded only to clan chiefs.

Public Life on National Tartan Day in Canada

The theme for the celebration of National Tartan Day in Canada is Scottish. The holiday honours anything that is associated with their heritage and history. Even the Tartan Day parades that take place throughout the various provinces of Canada follow the same. Bagpipe bands, sports activities, highland dancing, and other Scottish-themed events are an integral part of these commemoration ceremonies. People often cook (or order) Scottish food to mark this day, and the haggis and black pudding are the most famous. Other dishes loved by the public include Scottish porridge, Scotch broth, shortbread cookies, and of course, Scotch!

Another essential segment of public life on National Tartan Day is, of course, tartans. People wear kilts and other dresses displaying the Tartan patterns they love or of their province. Another option is the maple leaf tartan, the official tartan of Canada. All the provincial and territorial tartans are officially registered in the books of the Court of King of Arms of Scotland, Lord Lyon, and recognized by him.

On National Tartan Day in Canada (or the nearest Sunday) the annual ’Gathering of the Clans’ also takes place, on Parliament Hill, Ottawa. The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, being the oldest civilian bagpipe band of Canada, hosts the ceremony, which consists of bagpipes, drums, and dancing.

National Tartan Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2019 Sat 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2020 Mon 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2021 Tue 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2022 Wed 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2023 Thu 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2024 Sat 6 April National Tartan Day Observance
2025 Sun 6 April National Tartan Day Observance


1. Does Canada have a tartan?

Yes, the Maple Leaf Tartan is the national tartan of Canada. David Weiser designed it in 1964, for the 100th anniversary of Confederation, i.e., Canada Day 1967. It was made official in 2010 and celebrated on National Tartan Day in Canada.

2. What tartan to wear if not Scottish?

Even if you are not of Scottish descent but are celebrating National Tartan Day in Canada, you can wear a tartan. Wear a universal one or any non-clan tartan, because anyone can wear them.

Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is National Tartan Day in 2020? The date is 6 April, Monday.

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Quick Facts

This year: Mon, 6 April 2020
Next year: Tue, 6 April 2021
Last year: Sat, 6 April 2019
Type: Observance

National Tartan Day - Names in Other Languages

English: National Tartan Day
French: Fête du Tartan
German: Der Tartan Day
Scottish Gaelic: Latha Breacan