It’s National Tartan Day
It’s time to embrace your inner lumberjack for National Tartan Day!!!!
In 1998, the US declared April 6th to be National Tartan Day, and Canada followed suit in 2010. The date honours the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath (Scotland’s declaration of independence), which happened on April 6th in 1320. Many believe that document heavily influenced the American Declaration of Independence document, but that’s another story.
But wait. Is plaid the same as tartan? What is tartan? What is plaid? And what’s the difference between plaid and tartan?
Here’s the scoop: In short, TARTAN IS A PATTERN AND PLAID IS A GARMENT.
Tartan is a specific pattern or print when stripes of one colour in varying sizes intersect at 90-degrees with stripes of another colour in varying sizes, creating a cross-cross checkered-type pattern. Plaid is the Gaelic word for blanket, and it refers to lengths of fabric and shawls worn in traditional Scottish dress. Today’s, the word plaid is associated with any garment worn in highland dress, no matter what the print, pattern, or colour is.
I’m guessing people started getting the terms confused because Scottish plaids (garments) often featured a tartan print.
Well, now you know! And here’s more to know…
– The Scottish phrase “Sewn wi’ a hate needle an’ a burnin’ threed” is what you’d say in reference to a garment that’s made poorly.
– The Maple Leaf Tartan (below left) was declared Canada’s national tartan on March 9, 2011.