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Celtic is language, traditions, and culture from a collection of Indo-European peoples in parts of Europe and Anatolia identified by their use of the Celtic languages and other cultural similarities. Modern Celtic places include the countries of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man.

History

Historic Celtic groups included the Gauls, Celtiberians, Gallaecians, Galatians, Britons, Gaels, and their offshoots. The relationship between ethnicity, language and culture in the Celtic world is unclear and controversial. In particular, there is dispute over the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts.

The earliest undisputed examples of Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions from the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested from the 4th century AD in Ogham inscriptions, although they were clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century AD. Elements of Celtic mythology are recorded in early Irish and early Welsh literature. Most written evidence of the early Celts comes from Greco-Roman writers, who often grouped the Celts as barbarian tribes. They followed an ancient Celtic religion overseen by druids.

Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scots and Manx) and the Celtic Britons (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Britain, Ireland, and other European territories such as Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their former territories The six territories widely considered Celtic nations are Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.

Religion (Work in progress)

Paganism

Celtic paganism is a polytheistic religion, meaning they worship multiple deities. They celebrate the cross-quarter festivals (aka the major holidays) and the solstices and equinoxes (aka the minor holidays). The Celtic new year is November 1st, a day after Samhain (also known as Halloween), when the veil between the spirit world and the human world was supposedly lifted.

Early Christianity and Catholicism

The Catholic Church has influenced politics and culture in Ireland since the medieval period. St. Patrick and St. Brigid, both patron saints of Ireland, lived during this time period. The Book of Kells, which influenced Celtic art and design during the Celtic Revival period, was created by monks during this time.

The 19th and 20th centuries were a period of struggle between the English Protestant ruling class and the Irish Catholic working class. Uprisings and rebellions were common during this time period. While the country is more secular today, the influence of the church and Catholic schools is still visible, and tropes and imagery influenced by Catholicism pop up in Irish media often.

The Catholic church also significantly influenced culture in Brittany.

Protestant Reformation

The Presbyterian church had significant influence in Scotland and Scottish culture.

Fashion

Traditionally Celtic clothing:

Men

  • tunic
  • belt
  • cloak
  • trousers
  • tartan kilts

Woman

  • floor-length skirts
  • dresses made of wool or linen
  • shawls
  • cloaks - made from wool and fastened by brooches or pins

Modern Celtic clothing:

Men

  • Aran or Fisherman sweaters
  • tartan kilts

Women

  • Aran or Fisherman sweaters
  • ankle-length tartan skirts

Stores

Food

Stores

Scottish Gourmet USA

Visuals

  • The Dara knot
  • The Ailm
  • The Triskelion
  • The Tree of Life
  • The harp
  • The shamrock
  • Celtic dragons
  • Carolingian cross
  • plaid/tartans
  • Celtic paganism
  • nature
  • Celtic myth

Activities

  • board games
  • playing and listening to music
  • hunting
  • fishing
  • participating in festivals
  • horse racing
  • hurling
  • Camogie
  • Irish dance
  • Scottish dance

Media

Celtic media takes inspiration from many sources. Folk heroes and historical events are popular subjects for films. On television, modern slice of life and comedy themes are more popular. Settings tend to be rural or focused on working class communities if set in cities. (Note that Breton refers to Celtic from Brittany and Briton refers to Celtic from England.)

Movies

  • Bécassine! (2018) - Breton
  • Brave (2012) - Scottish
  • Braveheart (1995) - Scottish
  • Brooklyn (2015) - Irish
  • Druids (2001) - Briton
  • Fisherman's Friends (2019) - Cornish
  • Jamaica Inn (1939) - Cornish
  • Ladies in Lavender (2004) - Cornish
  • Michael Collins (1996) - Irish
  • Ondine (2009) - Irish
  • Pride (2014) - Welsh
  • Rob Roy (1995) - Scottish
  • Sunset Song (2015) - Scottish
  • The Black Cauldron (1985) - Welsh influenced fantasy
  • The Decoy Bride (2011) - Scottish
  • The Edge of Love (2008) - Welsh
  • The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966) - Irish
  • The Secret of Kells (2009) - Irish
  • The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) - Irish
  • The Stag (2013) - Irish
  • The Starfish (1952) - Cornish
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) - Irish
  • Trainspotting (1996) - Scottish
  • Tristan + Isolde (2006) - Irish and Briton

Stand Up Comedy

TV Shows

  • Ballykissangel (1996-2001) - Irish
  • Dead Still (2020-) - Irish
  • Derry Girls (2018-) - Irish
  • Doc Martin (2004-) - Cornish
  • Father Ted (1995–1998) - Irish
  • Hamish Macbeth (1995-1997) - Scottish
  • Hinterland (2013-2016) - Welsh
  • Monarch of the Glen (2000-2005) - Scottish
  • Moone Boy (2012–2015) - Irish
  • Outlander (2014-) - Scottish
  • Scot Squad (2014-) - Scottish
  • Stella (2012-2017) - Welsh
  • Torchwood (2006-2011) - Welsh
  • Wild West (2002–2004) - Cornish

Books

  • Anam Cara by John O'Donohue
  • Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales by Alwyn D. Rees and Brinley Rees
  • Celtic Tales by John O'Donohue
  • Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B. Yeats
  • Gods and Heroes of the Celts by Marie-Louise Sjoestedt
  • In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World by Pádraig Ó Tuama
  • The Book of Celtic Myths by Adams Media
  • The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, heavily based on Welsh folklore and mythology
  • The Celtic Book of the Dead by Caitlin Matthews
  • The Mabinogion by Anonymous
  • The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might by Courtney Weber
  • The fairy-faith in Celtic countries by Walter Evans-Wentz
  • Wild Magic: Celtic Folk Traditions for the Solitary Practitioner by Danu Forest

Music

Youtube Playlist:

Spotify Playlist:

  • Celtic music by The Gothard Sisters
  • Instrumental Celtic folk by Spotify
  • The Celtic circle by Sewron

Gallery

Resources

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