Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan

After the defeat of the Scots by the English in 1746, the wearing of the tartan and the keeping of any Highland ways and culture was forbidden in hopes this would forever subdue the rebellious Scotts spirit. However, as the Scots were fervent Christians, and canny as well, they clung to their ancient traditions by putting them underground. The “kirkin” was an important part of this in that one Sunday a year the populace went to church wearing a concealed piece of the tartan. At a certain moment set aside in the service, the tartan was touched while the minister pronounced a blessing on all tartans, and the Scots once more pledged their loyalty and respect for their old traditions.