The kilt is my delight: Gary Singh proudly shows off the new tartan, based on the traditional colours of the Sikh religion, which he and members of his family wore to celebrate a new year and a new millennium Picture: MICHAEL BOYD

THE first Sikh tartan has been registered by an Indian family living in Scotland.

The new design is based on the traditional colours of the Sikh religion - orange and navy blue - together with the green and yellow of the Indian flag. The basic pattern is based on the Campbell tartan worn by Sikhs in the British Army.

The new tartan was designed not only to celebrate the millennium but also the 300th anniversary of the modern Sikh religion and the 50th anniversary of the family's arrival in Britain.

The idea came from father-of-three Gary Singh, 38, a licensed grocer, who wore a kilt for the first time last year.

He said: ''I enjoyed it so much I thought I would like my own tartan. I checked but there was no Sikh tartan registered and so I decided to design one.

''I then found out that tartan kilts were worn in the Himalayas as working gear and that sealed it. I had to get one.''

With the help of Edinburgh-based kilt makers Kinloch Anderson, Mr Singh's family paid #3500 for the design and received enough material for the entire family to be kitted out.

''We desperately wanted to get it done for the millennium but the final product only arrived on December 23, having started in June.''

To see in the new year, 26 members of the family, from two-year-old Akash to eldest brother Jaswant, 67, wore the Sikh kilt for the bells, while two opted for tartan trews. The Sikh women wore their traditional rainbow saris together with a Sikh tartan sash .

Although the family recognise their Indian roots they embrace traditional Scottish culture in many ways, working in their own businesses, playing five-a-side football and supporting Hibernian FC at Easter Road.

Speaking in a broad Edinburgh accent, Jimmy Singh, 32, said: ''Even though we have Indian origins, we were born and bred in Scotland and feel very much part of that identity. We now hope to wear the kilts on special occasions such as weddings.''