Happy Tartan Day!

Happy Tartan Day! Since 1987, April 6 has been a day of international celebration of Scottish heritage and of the contributions of Scots and the Scottish diaspora to modern society.

I belong to Clan Donald (MacDhomnaill), the oldest and largest of the Highland Clans. Once lords of the Isles and the entire western seaboard of Scotland, from the Butt of Lewis in the north to the Mull of Kintyre in the south, Clan Donald was one of the chief inspirations for the beloved and ill-fated Starks in the Game of Thrones saga: just Google “Red Wedding, Massacre of Glencoe”.

Armadale Castle on the Isle of Skye. 📷 is my own, from a visit in 2016.

Clan Donald’s historic seat of power was at Finlaggan Castle on the isle of Islay. Throughout their history, though, the Donalds counted more than 27 castles and strongholds, including the clan’s spiritual home to this day, Armadale on the Isle of Skye, which I was fortunate enough to visit in 2016.

More than 100 tartans are associated with Clan Donald, with each branch having their own colors and patterns for various occasions, from hunting tartans to dress tartans, and from ancient to modern variations. The header image you see at the top of this post displays the most classic and recognized version, and my personal favorite! The motto shown on the seal reads “Per mare, per terras”, which is Latin for “By land and by sea” ⛵

What day is dedicated to celebrating your national or cultural heritage?

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