Kirkin’of the Tartans

West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater

April 2nd at 11:00 am

What is the Kirkin’ of the Tatarn?
Here is little bit of history of the custom.

After the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746, the English Parliament banned wearing tartan, speaking Gaelic, Scottish music, dancing, or playing the pipes. Any person caught doing anything of these could be shot on sight, arrested, or exiled to the colonies. This ban lasted for 36 years.

Legend says the Highlanders devised a plan to hide a piece of tartan in their clothing during church. At a set time during the service, they would hold the tartan and bless it. When the Scots were forced to fight for the British Army, it is said that the women would take a piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) to be blessed and to pray for protection of their clan. Thus came the Scottish celebration known as the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan.

The Kirkin’ is celebrated by Scots — and those who would be Scots — accompanied by prayer, scripture, preaching, blessing, bagpipe, and of course, the singing of Amazing Grace.  Now, in present day celebration, the Highlander patriotism, faithfulness, and strong independence are remembered by the displaying of tartans and public parade of the clans to the sound of the bagpipe.