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International Tartan Day

Celebrated every 1st of July in Waipu

As part of the International Tartan Day celebrations the children of Waipu Primary and members of the public are encouraged to dress up in their Tartan. 

In 2021 this celebration will be a gathering at the Caledonian Park (Waipu Primary School if raining) at 10.30am on 1st July. Constable Martin Geddes, rebels John Finlayson and Neil Troost will perform street theatre about the Act of Proscription of the Highland garb and it’s repeal in 1782.

Waipu Primary school Kapa Haka will perform to commemorate the occasion. This event is sponsored by Love WAIPU Business & Community Inc

The history behind Tartan Day

On the 1 July every year many countries around the world where there are Scottish descendants someone will be celebrating Tartan Day.

The Battle of Culloden of 1746 was the final battle of the Jacobite Rebellion also known as the 45. The Jacobites sought to install the ‘Young Pretender’, Bonnie Prince Charlie on the thrones of Scotland and England but their plans were thwarted with the terrible slaughter at both the battle and its aftermath.


The famous ‘Skye Boat Song’ which many of us learnt as children, (Speed Bonnie Boat like a bird on the wing etc) tells of the mysterious escape of the young Prince ‘over the sea to Skye’.

“The Act of Proscription” Which was passed  in 1747 forbade the Highlanders to wear Tartan, play the pipes, or carry weapons – and was effectively the final death knell for the clan based way of life that had existed in the Highlands for over a thousand years.

However, eventually, the British army would realise that amongst the ranks of the young, dispossessed highland warriors the tartan and the pipes were of special significance for maintaining morale…


And so on 1 July 1782, 40 years and two generations after the infamous ban, the “Act of Proscription” was repealed, making it lawful once again for Scottish Highlanders to wear tartan and play the pipes. Since then the anniversary of the Repeal Proclamation has been annually celebrated as International Tartan Day.


In 2006 Waipu Began Celebrating Tartan Day as part of its Winter in waipu programme.

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