Annual blessing of the tartan set for Sunday
Centuries ago, when the people of Scotland were under English rule and forbidden to wear their family tartans, Scots would find a way to honour their heritage in church – or so the legend goes.
“The Scots took a little piece (of their family tartan) to church with them on a Sunday in a deep, innermost pocket and it was blessed in secret,” said Irene Feir, secretary of the Victoria Joint Scottish Council. “I think a lot of people just say: ‘That’s bunk,’ but it’s a legend that’s been around a long time.”
The Victoria Joint Scottish Council has upheld the tradition of blessing the tartan for some 20 years and will continue to mark the occasion this Sunday (April 15) at St. Aidan’s United Church.
The blessing – or “kirking” of the tartan, depending on one’s level of familiarity in Scottish dialect – is open to all and will feature piper Walter Muir and words from Rev. Michael Caveney.
Tartan Day is officially April 6 in honour of the day in 1320 when Scotland gained independence. In Victoria, the council hosts Kirkin’ ’o the Tartan as close as possible to the 6th without interfering with Easter services.
Wear a tartan and celebrate Scottish culture, starting at 10 a.m. at St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St. Aidan’s St. in Gordon Head.
Refreshments will be served after the service. For more information, contact Feir at 250-652-5773 or firstname.lastname@example.org.