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Jo Mazzatti

Once again we approach the time of a new tradition - the celebration of National Tartan Day.  In Canada, France and The United States of America, the date adopted for National Tartan Day is one of the greatest. On that date in 1320 the Scottish nobility, meeting in Arbroath Abbey, attached their seals to a Declaration of Scottish Independence, a letter to Pope John XXII asking him to recognise that Scotland was once again sovereign and free of English domination.

We are delighted to extend to all Flag visitors the National Tartan Day Greetings we have received from Dr Christopher Pratt of New York.


Greetings for National Tartan Day – April 6, 2005!

For many people, National Tartan Day is a day of remembrance as much as celebration.  It is a day when we remember that one way or another, one day our families left their homes in Scotland and travelled across the sea to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and so many other places.  With them they brought bits of their homes, their cherished tartan and bagpipes, and their skill and industry.  They built new lives and helped build nations.  Today, we celebrate their achievement which led to our own.  We seek to educate so that the memory and achievement of our families and Scots everywhere will not be forgotten.  Thus remembering, informed by our past we seek to understand the present as we step into the future together in the hope of building a better life for us all.

There are nearly as many descendants of Scots living in Canada as there are people living in Scotland; almost 5 million.  In the US there are more than 12 million people of Scottish descent.  National Tartan Day became a holiday when first enacted by the Canadian government in 1993, and then by the US 1997.  Today, it is also a holiday in Scottish communities from Australia to Iceland, and around the world.  Last year, it also became a holiday in Angus, Scotland – see “Scotland’s Tartan Day is returning to Arbroath in Scotland for the second year running.  This now international event highlights an annual celebration of all things Scottish.” - .

What does Scotland mean on National Tartan Day 2005?

Is it about tartan and bagpipes, or is it about families and health care, education and self-reliance, entrepreneurship and the environment, culture and innovation, the history of Scots around the globe or the future of contemporary Scots as global players, or is it about all of these?

Is it a day to celebrate the best of our heritage and the land where our families began, a day to learn about the rich culture and enjoy the deep passion we feel toward this rarest of gifts, Scotland and its people?

Why is National Tartan Day a holiday?

Is it because the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6, 1320 is household knowledge, or because Braveheart William Wallace was executed for leading his belief in freedom 750 years ago (his true sword will be on display in NYC in its first trip outside of Scotland), is it because Scotland in 2005 is as it was then, or is it because each of us relishes the spirit of independence and cherishes the freedom that date represents?

Is it because the 1747 Act of Proscription (repealed in 1782), and in 2005 Cambridge University prohibit wearing the kilt, or is it that our beloved tartan is a reflection of the hues and tones of human experience that bind us together from every corner of the world where Scots helped build a better life for themselves and those around them?

Is it because Voltaire said “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.”, because the great French philosopher saw the ideas that shaped modern western society and philosophical inquiry in the 18th century “Scottish Enlightenment”, or is it because those same ideas thrive in contemporary Scotland today?

Is it because Scots everywhere, past and present, contribute to the world in every walk of life from science to the arts, because they are famous, or is it because they are like us, our families, friends and neighbours, you and I?

Is it because Scots alone built so many great nations, because Scots have a corner on self-reliance and courage of conviction, or is it because the ideals and values of a people provided a vision and voice carrying inventiveness, art and healing round the world?

How can we make this celebration meaningful to them?

There are so many ways to add meaning to this celebration.  Honour your family, your heritage by learning more about contemporary Scotland and its people today.  On National Tartan Day, 2005, wherever you are, share the celebration of contemporary and historic Scotland. 

The Flag hopes that wherever you are that you enjoy celebrating on and around 6 April. This week's recipe - Jo Mazzatti - is believed to be American in origin and has been supplied by Sheilah Fletcher, sister of The Flag's Peter. An international dish to eat on an international day. Hae a braw Tartan Day.

Jo Mazzatti

Ingredients:  2 lbs lean pork filet - cut into small pieces;  8 onions - sliced;  5oz tin tomato puree and 2 cups water OR a large tin of tomato soup;  1 head celery - chopped;  ¼lb mushrooms - sliced;  tin of creamed mushrooms;  500g (dry weight) shell noodles - cooked;  1lb cheese - cubed;  salt, pepper and cayenne pepper;  ½ cup butter;  2 green peppers OR a mixture of red, green and yellow peppers

Method:  Melt butter; brown onions and pork.  Put in a large bowl and add all other ingredients.  Freeze at this stage or put in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.,  Cook at 350°F or 180°C for 1 hour.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

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