Have You Heard of National Tartan Day?

Tartan DayTartan Day is April 6th!

Tartan Day is a celebration of Scotland and Scottish Heritage and is celebrated on the date of the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, the declaration of Scottish Independence signed April 6, 1320 intended to confirm Scotland’s status as an independent, sovereign state and defending Scotland’s right to use military action when unjustly attacked.

“…for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

It was first celebrated in Canada in the early 1980’s and in New York in 1987.  In 2005 National Tartan Day was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in House Resolution 41 to recognize ‘The outstanding contribution and achievements made by Scottish Americans to the United States’.  In Australasia a similar International Tartan Day is held on July 1, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan after the Battle of Culloden.

The inscription on a memorial cairn at Culloden Visitor Centre marking the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 near Inverness


If you’re Scottish, of course you care.  If you’re not – what’s the big deal?  Well, did you know that without the Scots there would not be:

the light bulb, Beta blocker, Bicycle, Carnegie Hall, Sean Connery, Color Photography, Andrew Carnegie, Criminal Fingerprinting, Robert Burns, Chloroform, cold-formed steel, Decimal Fraction, David Tennant – as Dr. Who, Eloping (Gretna Green), Peter Pan, Dolly the Sheep, Brian Cox, Gin & Tonic, Golf, Gospel Singing, Amy Pond, hot blast oven, the first World Cup, Mary Cassatt, lime cordial, Ewan McGregor, limelight, logarithm, Edgar Allen Poe, medical ultrasonography, overhead valve, telephone, television, tire, threshing machine, ultrasound scanner, universal time, retail banking, roller printing on textiles, shortbread, siren (alarm), steam hammer, Hypnotism, Hypodermic Syringes, Kaleidoscopes, Kelvin Scale, King James Bible, McDonalds, Microwave, Paraffin, Penicillin, Piano Foot Pedals, Pneumatic tire, porridge, postage stamp adhesive, propellar, radar, raincoats, refrigeration, Sir Walter Scott, Kellog’s cereal, steam hammer, Sam Houston, stereotype, tarmacadam, Davy Crockett, The 39 Steps, Uncle Sam, US Navy (John Paul Jones), 23 US Presidents, Vacuum flask, Whisky, the pencil, rubber bands, the new Dr. Who-Peter Capaldi, water clorination, Robert Louis Stevenson, Watt steam engine, propranolol, Gregorian telescope, Electric Clock, Fax, Campbell’s Soup, Scottish Meat Pies (recipe follows), me, my husband,  & my kids, and family!

Tom reminded me I forgot Mike Myers.  “If it’s not Scottish it’s crap!”

Both of my dad’s parents came from Scotland, my grandmother as young girl and my grandpa a bit older. My grandma was Marion, nicknamed Mina.


They were really wonderful people and I wish I could have spent more time with them – especially as an adult.


 My grandpa told me my son Sammy was his 26th GREAT grandchild.  That’s a lot of American Scots and not only are there more now – there are now some GREAT GREAT grandchildren through my cousins Cheryllyn, Jenny, & Leah.  Am I missing any?

My family name is Ritchie – Clan Mackintosh.  And before my father in law passed away he had his genealogy traced to Scotland as well – Robbins.

Apparently one of the biggest celebrations outside of New York is in St. Charles, Missouri – not 20 miles from my house. :)

Anyway – I have lingered here and gone on longer than I meant to!  But I have to say…. Scots are pretty cool!  Without them you’d be sitting around in the dark with no tv, telephone or colored photographs. :(

Here is a recipe to help you celebrate.  These Scottish Meat Pies are so so good.  My grandparents always used to get them from Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery in Michigan.  This is NOT their recipe and most keep their recipe a secret but this one is really good as well.  Here is a You Tube video of someone making the pastry so you can see what I mean about molding it.    Hope you enjoy!

Scottish Meat Pies

Serves 8-10
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot
Region Scotland
By author Krista Robbins


  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or bacon fat)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup crisco (or lard)
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • milk (for glazing)


Step 1
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Meat Filling
Step 2
In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, nutmeg, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step 3
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in beef broth making sure no lumps form. Cook until thickened and then set aside.
Step 4
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. In a large pan, melt the butter and shortening in 3/4 cup of water. When it is boiling, add the flour and mix thoroughly.
Step 5
Take a small amount and form into a ball keeping the rest warm while making each pastry. Roll out the dough and shape the crust around the base of a glass or a mold making sure there are no cracks in the pastry.
Step 6
As the pastry cools, remove from mold until you have 1/4 the pastry left for lids.
Step 7
Divide the meat between the 8-10 shells you made and add a tablespoon of gravy to moisten the meat.
Step 8
Roll out the remaining pastry and use 3-1/2 to 4 inch round cookie cutter
Step 9
Roll out the remaining pastry and use the 3 ½ to 4 inch round cookie cutter to cut out the lids. Cut a dime size hole from center.
Step 10
Wet the edge of the lids and the inside lip of shell. Place the lids over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges together to form a seal. Glaze lids with milk using a pastry brush.
Step 11
meat pie 2Bake 45 minutes at 275 degrees F. Serve with additional gravy if desired.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Have You Heard of National Tartan Day?

  1. Hooray for Scotland! My husband has some ancestry from there — McCormick, Kirkpatrick, Keith come to mind right off. As well as further back with royalty and nobility in Scotland.