St. Patrick’s Day in 2017 lands on a Friday, which for many is the perfect day of the week to partake in celebrations. St. Patrick’s Day is all about celebrating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish culture and heritage. There is no better way to do this than with tartan! Do you think that tartans only represent Scotland? Well, unfortunately you are wrong . There is a whole range of Irish tartans that are being woven as we speak. They are incredibly popular among people with an Irish heritage. Tartan is available in medium and heavy weight, so as we’ve discussed before there are a whole range of accessories and clothing that can be made with these two weights of material. If you missed our previous blog on different tartan weights and what you can do with them click here.
Irish tartans are mostly named by county. I recently came across a publication by House of Edgar (one of the mills that weaves tartan fabric) that have a break down of every possible Irish surname, and where these names typically originate from. This small publication also has a brief history of every Irish County. So, we have tried to link surnames in Ireland to tartans just as we do in Scotland. Again, no one is limited by their surname, you can wear whichever tartan tugs at your heart strings, but if you feel like you are betraying your genial heritage you can always opt for Ireland’s National Tartan.
Another reason that tartan is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is that tartan may have deep roots in Ireland. I am not trying to take the tartan away from Scotland here, but when I was researching where tartan originated for our last blog (3 Myths About Tartan and The Kilt) i came across some interesting information about tartan in Ireland. Of course this is still argued by many historians, but there are many who believe that tartan was originally from Ireland, and that the Irish brought tartans over to Scotland. There are people who are disputing this claiming that tartan came from Asia, or Africa. Truth is we will never know, but it is still a great reason to put your Irish kilt on this year for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!
Tartan kilts also get worn by a lot of Irish Pipe bands during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. In New York City, where there is a large Irish-American community, Irish Pipe bands here wear their kilts every day as they parade down the streets of New York. Whether people think this is wrong or right, I think that it adds to the celebrations and the atmosphere. It adds to the feeling of celebration and brings everyone together for a day (or weekend!) of celebration.