A pocket guide celtic wales

The Celts

The Celts are normally associated with Ireland ; nevertheless they did non arise from the island state, nor were they confined to that individual country. The first people to hold the same cultural traits originated in Northern Italy around 400 BC. These people finally created an imperium that spanned across Europe. Harmonizing to archeologists, the Celts originally migrated from Asia Minor into Western Europe, sometime during the Bronze Age, and so began to distribute across the continent. Most people lived in small towns which were all linked together by a larger cardinal town which acted as a topographic point for meeting and to carry oning concern. Along the normally traveled roads, there were both shrines and bastioned metropoliss erected for travellers.

The Celts were a non-literate society that passed-on their civilization and history through unwritten tradition. The lone written record of the Celts can be found on coins or written records from ancient writers ; nevertheless these records are frequently inaccurate due to the fact that they were frequently written when the Celts came into cultural competition with the Greeks and Romans, where they were frequently branded as savages. The world is that the Celts physical characteristics, frock, and civilised manner of life were frequently admired. Women by and large stood taller that most Roman citizens, and upon making the proper age, immature adult females would get down have oning their hair in intricate plaits and would have on intricately embroidered frocks, frequently plaid in form. This plaid form was found in both adult females and work forces ‘s vesture along with gold and Ag watchbands and rings which were worn by the wealthy. The Gaelic work forces would frequently spike their hair and turn out their face funguss ; in some folks so would even tattoo their weaponries and even their face with bluish ink.

The Celtic society was a hierarchy based system which was divided into three groups: The Warrior Aristocracy, the Intellectual Class made up of poets, legal experts and the Druids, and so everyone else ; nevertheless these three groups were farther divided into sub-groups. The society was based on affinity and what tribe the individual belonged to. One ‘s ethnicity was chiefly derived from a larger group called a Tuath, but finally one ‘s kin or Cenedl. Much like the packs of today, disputes between persons would ensue in a difference between the kins that the persons belonged to. It was the occupation of the legal expert, known as Brithem, to intercede these differences between kins. Within Celtic society adult females held a high function. Often adult females would really take part in conflict as warriors and some even held places of power within the kins.

Even though most constructs of the Gaelic people are that of ferocious warriors, batting with painted faces, half bare, and ready to take on any enemy that crossed their way, this was non needfully the instance. The Celts were a really superstitious and spiritual society, which is frequently incorporated with the images of Druids. This image of Merlin projecting charming enchantments and turning his friends into cunning animate beings is the “ Disney ” version of Gaelic civilization. This image ignores the true bloodiness of the Celtic civilization which included human forfeit by fire or boiling the victim alive. Until Rome became a Christian imperium, the Celtic imperium in Gaul practiced the tradition of nailing the caputs of their conquered enemies to their doors.

There are two theories on the beginning of the Celtic faith ( known as Druidism ) . One theory is that the faith spread as the Celts migrated west across Europe, conveying their faith with them. The other theory is that the faith really began in the British Isles, where Druids were trained in their faith and so be sent back into Europe to distribute Druidism. This faith was nature based, which is known today as “ Earth Spirituality ” .

It is thought that there were three different categories of Druids ; the differences believe to be that of their degree of preparation and different maps. There of class was the Druid, so the Bard and so the Ovate. These Druids did non merely map as spiritual leaders, but they besides held places as Judgess, and it is besides believed that there are ArchDruids who had control over huge countries, really similar to Christianity ‘s Archbishops.

Another of import portion of Celtic life was the festivals held throughout their 13 month lunar calendar. Because of the uneven figure of months, they would frequently add yearss as the terminal of the twelvemonth as “ clip between times ” . During their twelvemonth they had a sum of four festivals tied to their agricultural rhythms. The first of their festivals took topographic point on what is now October 31st to November 1st. This festival known as Samhain and celebrates the terminal of the crop, the beginning of a new Gaelic twelvemonth and a jubilation of the dead. During this vacation it was believed that the infinite between the human universe and the spirit word thinned ; so work forces would run with torches around their houses to guard off evil liquors. The following festival was held on February 1st to the 2nd, which is now the modern twenty-four hours Groundhog Day. This festival is known as Imbolc. It is simple and merely celebrates the beginning of spring for the Celts. The 3rd jubilation of the twelvemonth was held from April 30th to May 1st and was known as Beltane. This festival celebrates birthrate and is now known as May Day. The celebrations normally included kids running about a pole with ruddy and white thread and picking flowers. Finally, a elephantine balefire is lit to observe the return of the Sun to the land. The concluding jubilation of the Gaelic twelvemonth was known as Lughnasadh and took topographic point July 31st to August 1st and celebrated the beginning of the crop.

Besides the festivals that dealt with the agricultural twelvemonth, the Celts besides had four jubilations for the equinoxes and the solstices.

The first jubilation was known as Alban Arthuan, which translates to Light of Arthur, and was the festival of the winter solstice. This festival, much like other winter solstice jubilations everyplace, celebrated the return of the Sun after the shortest twenty-four hours of the twelvemonth. The following jubilation was known as Alban Eiler, which translates to Light of the Earth, and celebrated the youthful equinox. Not merely did the Celts observe the balance of twenty-four hours and dark but they besides believed that it was the balance between their universe and the spirit universe, therefore believing that this twenty-four hours had the most possible for thaumaturgy. The 3rd jubilation was known as Alban Heruin and was the jubilation of summer solstice. The Celts observed this vacation by playing games and holding field daies. The concluding jubilation is known as Alban Elued, translated to Light of the Water, is the jubilation of the Autumn Equinox, and like the youthful equinox, it was believed to be a clip where thaumaturgy was possible.

One can evidently state that farming played a big function in the lives of the Gaelic people. The Celts of the Iron Age Britain chiefly farmed in settled communities, where the people would be given to their farms and farm animal. Archaeological grounds shows that there were besides pastoral husbandmans, but non about every bit many as settled farms. In both Southern and Eastern Britain, big subdivisions of land were used for farming. Here they grew harvests such as maize, herbs, roots and wheat. The Celts grew different types of wheat such as oats, rye, barley and millet ( Evidence of their dependance on grain can be found on ancient Gaelic British coins with the word picture of antediluvian grain on them ) and like the grain silos of today ; famers in Celtic Britain used belowground cavities to hive away grain and other excess harvests. These cavities were normally lined with wood and recent archeological digs have revealed that it was common for husbandmans to go forth offerings to the Gods at the underside of these cavities, assumedly to guarantee a successful crop.

The Celts of Britain besides had a system of forming land for farming which could be traced back to the Bronze Age. This organisation is seen chiefly in the layout of fencings on a big graduated table. Gaelic Britain was one of the larger agricultural communities and is where the first regular rectangular farm Fieldss were introduced. Later in the Iron Age ( about 100 B.C. ) woods and woodland countries began to be cleared to be used as farming area. Not merely were the Celts one of the first civilizations to clear forest for agriculture, but they were one of the first civilizations to successfully use the Fe plough.

Crop cultivation was non the lone signifier of subsistence know in Celtic Britain ; Pastoral agriculture was the other common agricultural system of the Celts ( besides the most of import ) , normally practiced in portion with harvest cultivation. In Gaelic civilization the more cowss a adult male owned, the wealthier he was. The nonextant Celtic Shorthorn was the cowss of pick for the Celts, utilizing them both for their milk and butchering some for their beef, which was the chief meat eaten of the clip. This system in which cowss represented wealth, a alone act came into pattern known as Cattle foraies, which is the act of stealing another adult male ‘s cowss. Often these foraies would move as turn outing evidences for immature Celtic warriors looking to turn out themselves. The Celts besides raised sheep ; non for meat but to maintain alive to utilize their wool, and one time the sheep had become old they would be butchered for mouton. Another animate being the ancient Celts of Britain domesticated was the hog. It was smaller than a modern twenty-four hours domesticated hog and was a cross between a wild Sus scrofa and a Tamworth hog. They raised these animate beings purely for the intent of supplying jambon, sausage and bacon.

In the Gaelic civilization there were three chief groups that all shared the same civilization ; The Celts of Britain, the Celts of Ireland and the Celts of Gaul. Even though they were 100s of stat mis apart they all shared the same cultural traits. Even though Romans looked at the Celts as savages, they truly had a simple society rooted faith.


  • “ Celtic Europe. ” Www.watson.org. Web. 30 Nov. 2009..
  • “ CELTIC HISTORY ; BRIEFLY… ” Joelle ‘s Sacred Grove Entrance. Web. 01 Dec. 2009..
  • “ Gaelic Mythology and Celtic Religion. ” Heart o ‘ Scotland – Scots Art, Books, Music, History. Web. 20 Nov. 2009..
  • “ The Celts. ” Ibiblio.org – people. Web. 01 Dec. 2009..
  • “ The Celts. ” Washington State University – Pullman, Washington. Web. 29 Nov. 2009..
  • Ellis, Peter B. The Celts, A History. New York: Carroll & A ; Graf, 1998? Print.
  • “ Farming in Celtic Britain – The Celts. ” The Celts and Romans – Synergistic History Resources. Web. 07 Nov. 2009..
  • Green, Miranda, and Ray Howell. A Pocket Guide Celtic Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales and The Western Mail, 2000. Print.
  • James, Simon. The World of The Celts. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. , 1993. Print.
  • “ Triskelle – Irish history: Gaelic Social Structure. ” Triskelle – Spending Time In Ireland – Irish History, Music, Lyrics and Tourism. Web. 01 Dec. 2009..