Kirkin of the Tartan 2024

Celebrate the Kirkin' of the Tartan at Knox Church Kincardine 2024

A Historic Event in Our Community

As we do every year, the festival marks our calendars for Sunday, July 7, for the Kirkin' of the Tartan service at Knox Church as another traditional part of Kincardine's Scottish heritage. Everyone is welcome to join, whether you have a family tartan or not. Those with tartans can bring them to the church to be blessed during the service.

Be sure to enjoy the rousing and meaningful music from Kincardine's very own Scottish Pipe Band, who will be in attendance.

A Long-Standing Tradition

The Kirkin' of the Tartan service in Kincardine has long been considered a part of the Scottish Festival and Highland Games. The service pre-dates the festival as a cherished tradition that began back in 1974 when Jack Marcus, a Kincardine native living in Chicago, introduced the idea to Knox Church. Inspired by a similar event at his church, he shared the concept with Fraser Lampman and Ian Hamilton, who helped bring the idea to fruition.

While we celebrate our 25th, this year's service is particularly special as Knox Church celebrates its 175th anniversary.

The Historical Significance of Kirkin' of the Tartan

The Kirkin' of the Tartan has a poignant history. After the Battle of Culloden, the British government passed the 1746 Act of Proscription, which banned members of Scottish clans from wearing their tartan, playing bagpipes, and participating in other cultural traditions. This act aimed to suppress Highland culture and sent a strong message that the war for independence was over.

Despite this, Highlanders secretly kept pieces of their tartan as a symbol of their enduring heritage. The Act of Proscription was repealed in 1782, but not without lasting consequences. Many Highlanders were forced to emigrate due to the Highland Clearances, during which clan chiefs lost their lands to government-appointed landlords.

In 1941, Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall, originally from Coatbridge, Scotland, and then pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., created the Kirkin' of the Tartan ceremony to commemorate this challenging period in Scottish history. This tradition continues to this day.

Join the community in celebrating this rich heritage at the Kirkin' of the Tartan service at Knox Presbyterian Church, Sunday, July 7th ~ 10:30AM to 11:30AM.