Throughout the year the Edmonton Scottish Society hosts a number of social events to celebrate Scottish heritage, food and dance. Be sure to check back regularly for event details.
Burns Night - January
A Burns Night is a celebration of the life, poetry and songs of Robbie Burns. Held on or near January 25th a traditional Burn's supper typically includes pipers, haggis , a variety of toasts and of course recital of Burn's poems. The Edmonton Scottish Society typically hosts a Burns supper or provides a listing of Burn's events within the city.
For more details on Burns Night celebrations check out the The Ultimate Guide to Burns Night
Tartan Day - April 6th
Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish Heritage that is held on April 6th, the day on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. The concept of Tartan Day began at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia on 09 March 1986. The concept began with the following motion to the Federation:
"That we establish a day known as 'Tartan Day'. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means. The wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship."
On December 19, 1991, in response to action initiated by the Clans & Scottish Societies of Canada, the Ontario Legislature passed a resolution proclaiming April 6 as Tartan Day, following the example of other Canadian provinces.
Here in Alberta, Tartan Day was officially proclaimed by the Alberta Government on April 6, 1992.
The tartan shown here is the Alberta Provincial Tartan.
The colours of the Alberta tartan represent the green of our forests, the gold of our wheat fields, the blue of our clear skies and sparkling lakes, the pink of our wild rose, and the black of our coal and petroleum. The tartan was designed by the Edmonton Rehabilitation Society for the Handicapped, now Goodwill Industries of Alberta. It was adopted as the official tartan of Alberta in 1961.
National Tartan Day
Tartans of all varieties are worn on Tartan Day, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions of Scots and their descendants in Canada on April 6.
What Do People Do?
Typically Tartan Day celebrations include parades with pipe bands, highland dancing and sports, and other community gatherings with Scottish-themed events. While a variety of tartans are displayed, the maple leaf tartan is Canada’s official tartan.
Tartan Day is an observance and not a public holiday in Canada.
On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on April 6 because it is the anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, the Scottish declaration of independence. In Canada, the day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia, where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in.
St Andrew's Night - November
St Andrew’s day is Scotland’s official national day celebrated on November 30th each year. It is a day to celebrate Scottish culture, food, music and dance is celebrated by Scottish societies and communities throughout the world.
St Andrew himself was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and brother of St Peter. He is not only the patron saint of Scotland but also Romania, Greece and Russia. The St Andrew’s flag is the flag of Scotland and is known as "The Saltire" which is universally recognized as a white cross on a blue background.
Hogmanay - December 31
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. Nobody quite knows where the word 'Hogmanay' came from but it is thought to have originated from Gaelic or from Norman-French. Traditionally, the Burns’ song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. An important element of Hogmanay celebrations is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and a kiss to wish everyone a ‘Guid New Year’. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.