These days the seven Celtic ‘nations’ are regarded as Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall in England, the Isle of Man, Galicia in North West Spain and Brittany in France.
It is believed that the Celts were a collection of tribes which originated in central Europe. They had similar cultures, traditions, religious beliefs and languages. The first mention of the Celts dates from around 500 BC so there is a lot of history and heritage in that piece of jewelry hanging around your neck or shining on your finger.
It is thought that the Celts arrived in Britain and Western Europe during the first century. The influence of the Vikings began in the 8th century AD and the Isle of Man parliament, Tynwald (Norse for Assembly Place), is the oldest continuous parliament in the world. We can still see and hear the old Celtic languages in use today. Probably the country with the highest percentage of native speakers is Wales at around 25% so Welsh is still being widely spoken, particularly in the north of the country, and its popularity on the increase. Marian is from Bangor in North Wales and grew up speaking Welsh as her first language. She is very proud of her roots and Celtic background.
Gaelic is still spoken in Scotland and the bagpipes can be traced back to Celtic times. The old language of Cornwall is called Corning although very few people now would be able to speak or understand it. However, there are Cornish societies dotted around the world as there are for the other Celtic peoples. The United States has many local societies for all of the Celtic ‘nations’ reflecting the growing interest in feeling connected to one’s past and heritage.
Take pride in your Celtic background. Despite all the trials and tribulations, the battles to retain our identity, we are still here. That is some achievement.