Tartan Day in Australia and New Zealand Date in the current year: July 1, 2016

Tartan Day in Australia and New Zealand Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish heritage in some English-speaking countries. In Australia and New Zealand, it is held annually on July 1 and is sometimes referred to as International Tartan Day.

Tartan a pattern that consists of criss-crossed vertical and horizontal bands in multiple colors. This pattern is particularly associated with Scottish kilts and Scotland in general. Almost every Scottish clan has its own tartan pattern.

In 1747, wearing tartan was made an offense punishable in Scotland by the Act of Proscription. The act was repealed on July 1, 1782. In 1989, the Scottish Australian Heritage Council began to encourage Australians of Scottish descent to wear tartan on the anniversary of the repeal.

On Tartan Day, Australians and New Zealanders celebrate Scottish culture and heritage. This holiday is meant to help citizens of Scottish descent reconnect with their ancestry. After arriving to Australia and New Zealand, many Scots assimilated and almost forgot their traditions. Tartan Day is intended to remind them where they came from.

On this day, some clans organize private events that include Highland dancing, reciting Robert Burns' poetry and consuming haggis (savory pudding that is considered the national dish of Scotland).

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Cultural Observances


Australia, New Zealand


Tartan Day, cultural observance, Scottish heritage, holidays in Australia, holidays in New Zealand