It’s Tartan Week, meaning the 5 million Americans who claim Scotch ancestry -- and all the others who just really like golf, bagpipes and/or Scotch whisky – are honoring the rainy homeland. It’s nowhere near as widely celebrated as St. Paddy’s, but New York City will have a parade (New York City always has a parade) on Saturday, April 5. Here are 10 excellent reasons to celebrate Scotland and its influence on the U.S.
1. Although the shaggy Highland ponies were a viral sensation last year, Highland cows are equally adorable and equally shaggy. If you want to sound like a Scottish person, call them “coos.”
2. Scotland’s official animal is the unicorn.
3. Laphroaig Scotch whisky was sold legally in the U.S. during Prohibition because it was deemed medicinal.
4. The game of golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. The first record dates back to 1457, only it was spelled "gowf" and played on a 22-hole course.
5. Scotland has several really beautiful beaches, and in the peak of summer (starting the last week of June and going through August), some get 18 hours of sunlight.
6. The fictitious Hogwarts Express train seen in the Harry Potter movies was “played by” the Jacobite train, located in the Scottish Highlands.
7. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is dubbed the "home of golf," and serious golfers pilgrimage to its Old Course almost as though it were hallowed ground.
8. One of the nicest castle hotels in Scotland, Stobo Castle Health Spa, has a suite where the walls are entirely covered in cashmere.
9. Laphroaig is the only Single Malt Scotch whisky to bear a Royal Warrant (granted to brands/companies and tradespeople that supply goods to the Queen of England), bestowed by HRH Prince Charles.
10. The Scottish invented the waterproof raincoat (1823) as well as the hot blast furnace (1828).