National Tartan Day recognizes the contributions of Scottish Americans to the U.S. and commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath 700 years ago which declared Scottish independence.

For 175- years Chicago Scots have delivered on life’s most important most important values — family, home, and love.  On Monday, 6 April we want every Chicago Scot to observe National Tartan Day at home safely sheltered in place. We’ve compiled a list of activities every Scot can enjoy at home to commemorate National Tartan Day.  We encourage you to post your photos and videos of your celebrations by tagging @ChicagoScotsIL on Facebook.

Sing a Song of Scotland Here are three song Scots cannae get out of their heads.  Use these sing-a-long lyrics from YouTube to sing a Scottish song to celebrate Tartan Day 2020!  Post your videos!

Flower of Scotland
The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond  

Test Your Scottish Crossword Skills While ‘sheltering in place’ the Cameron brothers of Chicago — Angus (13), Max (12) and Hamish (10) – created a crossword puzzle about all things Scottish.  See if you know the places, food and sites they’ve seen.

Watch Traditional Scottish Dancing
The Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers have been performing at every Chicago Scots event for the past three decades thanks to troupe founder and accomplished dancer, Nancy Strolle, also a member of the Board of Governors of Chicago Scots.  Review their playlist of videos to inspire your own Highland dance.  Favorites include #5 the Reel at Brookfield Zoo and for sure #9 Happy to Be Home by Skerryvore.  Link to Chicago Scots Facebook page to post your own dance steps.

Listen to Bagpipes!
If you don’t know Dave Johnston by sight you know him by sound. Dave and his professional pipers stir the souls of everyone who is Scottish by birth, heritage or inclination at every Chicago Scots event.  Click here to select your favorite tunes from Chialba’s playlist. The name means (Chi – Chicago/Alba – Gaelic for Scotland).

Make Scottish Shortbread
This is the time-honored Scottish shortbread recipe that’s been used at the Scottish Home since doors opened 103-years ago.  It’s a staple of the homemade fare our residents enjoy.  From our house to yours, enjoy!  Special thanks to Clarice Hinsdale, Director of Food Services, and her dedicated team for the great food at Caledonia Senior Living!

Read the full resolution that established National Tartan Day
Excerpt: “Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the governors in nine of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this nation through its most troubled times.”

Find Your Tartan
Use Scotland Shop’s tartan finder to locate your clan’s tartan.  You can order tartan sneakers, boots and so much more!

Toast with Koval Whisky
Koval, Chicago’s first distillery in more than 150 years, suspended whisky operations in mid-March to make hand sanitizer for healthcare workers and retirement homes on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.  Thanks to Koval, Caledonia Senior Living has 24 gallons of hand sanitizer to keep the virus away. When you think whisky; think Koval.  They’ve been a good friend to Caledonia Senior Living and many other senior communities.

Recite Poetry – Burns, of course!
Recite your favorite poem of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national Bard. Here are the text of two favorite poems courtesy of the Poetry Foundation online.  Post your best attempt!

A Red, Red Rose A Man’s a Man for A’ That

Donate to Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care
Every contribution no matter how large or small will make an important difference to sustaining our efforts against COVID-19.  Our Society will only prevail with your continued help.  Please make a gift. Thank you.


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