Celtic Stuff

Things I run accross that are of Celtic Interest

Saturday, September 17, 2005


“Saint Patrick's Battalion, "The San Patricios," a notable arm of the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848.

Dubious about why they were fighting a Catholic country and fed up with mistreatment by their Anglo-Protestant officers, hundreds of Irish, German and other immigrants deserted Taylor's army and joined forces with Mexico.

Led by Capt. John Riley of Co. Galway, they called themselves the St. Patrick's Battalion (in Spanish, the San Patricios) and fought against their former comrades in all the major campaigns of the war.

The history of the San Patricios is a woeful tale of angry, bewildered, naive, or calculating young men, from varied backgrounds, who deserted for a myriad of reasons and paid a fearful price.

The San Patricios, in the words of one Mexican general, "deserved the highest praise, because they fought with daring bravery." But eventually, Mexico surrendered, ceding almost half its territory to the United States.

Each San Patricio who deserted from the US side was interned after the war in Mexico and subsequently given an individual court-martial trial. Many of the Irish were set free, but some paid the ultimate price. Roughly half of the San Patricio defectors who were executed by the US for desertion were Irish.

There are ceremonies there twice a year, on September 12 which is the anniversary of the executions, and on Saint Patrick's Day. ”

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Celtic Gold Pipers Wiley Swogger & Byron Boddy

"Combined, we have over 50 years of piping experience. We are available, solo or duet, for weddings, funerals or for any special occasions. We are in the Portland metro area but are available for performances throughout northwest Oregon."


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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Saving Celtic Spirituality

“The intense interest today in Celtic spirituality is based on the belief that in those centuries of isolation, Celtic Christians developed a culture that was in many respects closer to the early church, and to "true Christianity," than any of the forms of institutionalized Christianity that replaced it. Some consider the "defeat" of Celtic Christians at Whitby a disaster of planetary proportions. Bradley quotes a 1998 speculation from The Plain Truth, the magazine of the Worldwide Church of God: If the Celts had won at Whitby, our world might be less materialistic and less steeped in consumerism. Our waters might be less polluted, our rain forests and ozone layer might still be intact, and our fellow creatures might be less endangered. Life might be simpler, less frantic, and happier.”

Interesting Article from Christianity Today Magazine on Celtic Spirituality in the Christian religion from Roman times to present.


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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Red Cross - Donate if You Can

American Red Cross

DONATE if you can

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Forrester School of Celtic Dance

"The Forrester School of Celtic Dance is located in Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in eastern Canada. It was established in 1965 under the direction of Eileen (Pottie) Forrester. The school has three branches, Sydney area, Glace Bay & New Waterford. The more experienced dancers train to become part of the performing & touring Scottish dance company with international experience."


Monday, August 29, 2005

UW-Milwaukee: Center for Celtic Studies - Home Page

“The Center for Celtic Studies provides interdisciplinary, international educational opportunities for UWM students. Our program includes on-campus instruction by UWM and visiting international faculty, as well as study-abroad options in Ireland, Great Britain, and Europe. We provide a wide range of course and research topics relating to cultures-both historical and modern--that share Celtic influence: the early Continental Celts and the Breton, Cornish, Galician, Irish, Manx, Scots, and Welsh peoples.

Students can concentrate their studies on the Celtic languages, both spoken and written, or they may choose to investigate the broader themes of the Celtic world, such as art, archaeology, literature, history, folklore, music and myth.

The Celtic world offers a dynamic forum for the combined study of language, culture, politics, education, and the arts. The Center for Celtic Studies provides enrichment to both UWM students and the community at large through the Certificate Program and the Center's many activities and resources.”

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Online Radio: The P-Celtic Languages

As with the studying Q-Celtic languages, actually being able to listen and understand your chosen language is not an easy skill for those of us not exposed to the language regularly. This is an inherent problem with Celtic languages since there are few places in the world where the languages are actually strong, so even if you are in Wales and studying Welsh, you probably don’t get enough exposure. Fortunately the Internet does offer some options for both Welsh and Breton learners, though it does appear that Cornish learners are left out at this stage. Not surprisingly, the BBC has a good Welsh language site, but no Cornish site. In Brittany, it appears that Radio Kerne is the primary Breton language broadcaster with an online presence. Welsh is also represented by Radio Acen, which is geared specifically towards learners.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Celtic Tiger Live - Tour Dates, Tickets, VIP Packages

"Images of Irish history fill the first half of the show which ends with the portrayal of the birth of modern Ireland as a nation state and a people who are constantly emerging from the jaws of defeat. The choreography, music and stage presentation combine to create a visionary interpretation of a people’s quest for freedom and the nobility of their spirit. The second half of Celtic Tiger builds on images of modern Ireland and celebrates new life in America and across the globe. The invincible spirit of the Celtic Tiger is the thread that draws the images together weaving a tapestry that is a celebration in dance drama.

Celtic Tiger has been described as a highly charged and innovative show with breathtaking special effects making it not quite a stage show and not quite a feature film but uniquely somewhere in between. Controversial and explosive, Celtic Tiger sets new standards in stage presentation and choreography. Celtic Tiger and its musical score are quantum leaps forward in an arena scale theatrical production."


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

2005 Celtic Classic - Bethlehem, PA

The 18th annual Celtic Classic is presented by Celtic Cultural Alliance, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of The Lehigh Valley.

Friday, September 23, 2005 - 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sunday, September 25, 2005 - 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

The Celtic Classic is presented on the Historic Bethlehem’s festival grounds, along the Monocacy Creek and adjacent to the main shopping areas.

The Celtic Classic is a celebration of Celtic culture and heritage. As a part of this celebration, the following events and activities take place:

* Five stages of continuous entertainment featuring international, national and regional musical artists
* An authentic gathering of the clans
* The 8th Annual Celtic Classic Fiddle Competition
* The Celtic Classic Invitational Pipe Band Competition
* US National Highland Athletic Championships
* An international food court
* Drum Major competition
* Border collie exhibitions
* A diverse marketplace of Celtic crafts, merchandise and collectibles
* Celtic artisan demonstrations
* A living history area showcasing life in ancient times

Monday, June 13, 2005

William Butler Yeats

It is the birthday of William Butler Yeats, born in Dublin (1865). He grew up at a time when Ireland was an English colony, and most members of the Irish Protestant upper-class were pro-British. The Catholic middle-class were in favor of Irish independence. It didn't help them get along that Catholics were denied equal access to education and jobs and government positions.

William Butler Yeats was brought up in a Protestant family, so he should have been pro-British, but he was actually more interested in mysticism. A friend of his took him to his first séance in 1886, during which, Yeats's whole body began to shake. He felt himself thrown back against the wall. It was terrifying, but it also confirmed for him the existence of the spirit world. He became interested in the occult. His father wanted him to become a scientist, but Yeats wrote to his father in a letter, "The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write."

He began wandering around in an old, dark cloak, studying fairytales and mythology and Buddhism, playing the part of a mystic poet. A woman described him as wearing seedy, black clothes with a big, black bow at his throat, muttering verse to himself with a wild eye.

It all changed when he met an Irish nationalist named Maud Gonne, who was also the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and then he became interested in Irish nationalism in order to impress her. He organized rallies for Irish independence and wrote nationalist plays and poetry.

Yeats came to believe that if he could just get in touch with the mythic history of the Irish people he could write about something that would tie the whole country together, Protestants and Catholics.

Maud Gonne had married somebody else—a soldier who was a hero of the Easter uprising in 1916. The Irish free state came about in 1921, and Yeats served as one of the first members of the new Irish senate.

It was William Butler Yeats who said, "The intellect of man is forced to choose perfection of the life or of the work, and if he take the second, must refuse a heavenly mansion raging in the dark."
From the Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor
Available by e-mail daily

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Agricola’s Invasion AD 79 - 84

"In AD 79 Agricola, the Roman governor of Britannia, sent a fleet to survey Scotland’s coast. As Agricola advanced, conquering southern Scotland by AD 83, the Caledonian tribes faced imminent invasion.
According to the Roman historian Tacitus, the Caledonians then 'turned to armed resistance on a large scale', attacking Roman forts and skirmishing with their legions. In a surprise night-attack, the Caledonians very nearly wiped out the whole 9th legion until it was saved by Agricola’s cavalry. "

Part of the BBC site on Scottish History


Saturday, June 11, 2005


"The 16th of June marks the 100th anniversary of “Bloomsday”: the date of the adventures of Leopold Bloom throughout the course of a single day in Dublin in the year 1904 as depicted in James Joyce’s landmark novel Ulysses.

We won’t attempt to summarize or analyze the story here, which after all is a fictional event, but rather consider some of its historic aspects.

16 June 1904 was significant to Joyce because it was on or about that day that he had his first date with his beloved Nora Barnacle, whom he would eventually marry. In writing the novel, Joyce set out to do more than plot a story: he deliberately sought to re-create, in exacting detail, the Dublin of his youth, the Dublin that he left for good a few months after that day in June 1904. In later years he would remark that if Dublin were to be completely destroyed it could be recreated as it was in 1904 from the information in Ulysses."

Interesting article on the celebrtion of Bloomsday.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feast of St. Columba

On 9 June 597 St Columba died in Iona. Born in present-day Donegal, Columba moved to Scotland after victory over the Irish king Dermott at the battle of Cooldrevny in 561. His spritual father, St Molaisi, commanded that Columba perform the penance of bringing as many souls to the Church as he had caused to die. Two years later Columba founded a monastery on Iona which was to become one of the leading centres of Christianity in Western Europe, and the base from which Columba launched his successful mission to convert the Pictish nation.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

St. Petroc

"St. Petroc was a Welsh nobleman who was educated in an Irish monastery and then sailed with a small band of followers to Camel estuary. He arrived in the estuary and built a church at Padstow with a Celtic monastery as a centre for spreading the Christian faith. In his travels he also started churches in Bodmin and Little Petherick, as well as in many parts of Britain, Wales and Brittany."


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Gregynog Music Festival

"The Gregynog Festival, a music festival of an international standard, is held at Gregynog in the summer.

This year's Festival will take place between Friday 17 June and Saturday 2 July.

Tickets are available from Theatr Hafren.

Box Office - 01686 625007

Gregynog welcomes wheelchair users. There is ample free parking in the grounds - so why not bring a picnic to enjoy in the superb gardens. "

"Gregynog, hidden away in the peaceful Montgomeryshire countryside, is a centre for conferences, education and the arts. The Hall is surrounded by 750 acres of gardens, woodland and farmland, making Gregynog one of the most peaceful and relaxing venues imaginable. "


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Irish Connections Festival - June 10, 11, 12 2005

"June 10, 11 & 12, 2005
At The Irish Cultural Centre of New England
200 New Boston Drive (off Route 138), Canton, Massachusetts
Tel: 781-821-8291 or 1-888-GO IRISH


About the Festival
Featuring more than 400 singers, musicians, and dancers who will perform continuously throughout the three day event on several stages, the festival showcases the very best in local, national and international talent.

The annual Festival is one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast, with more than 35,000 welcome guests from the United States, Canada and Europe attending."

Time to make plans to go to New England!


Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Great Scottish Walk - Sunday 19th June 2005

"The 2004 walk proved to be the best ever with 7,000 people walking through the historic streets of Edinburgh, whilst raising over 1 million pounds for various Charities.

This years walk will be even bigger and better than last years! With great events available such as HealthyLiving Golden Mile and the ever popular 6 & 12 mile walks. Additionally, there will also be the Scotland Health at Work event as well as a number of other team events available."

If your're in or near Edinburgh on Sunday June 19th why not go for a stroll?


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Celtic Art - missgien.net

“Celtic art is considered the first great contribution to European art made by non-Mediterranean peoples. Its roots go back to the artisans of the Urnfield culture and the Hallstatt culture (8th-6th century BCE) at the beginning of the Iron Age. It flowered in the period of the La Tène culture.”

Interesting series of articles on Celtic Art. Part of a larger celtic site.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Grower Folk Festival 2005

"Welcome to the Halfpenny Folk Club and Gower Folk Festival Web site!

This site is full of information about Folk Music in South West Wales and, in particular, about the Halfpenny Folk Club and the Gower Folk Festival. Both are located at venues on the beautiful Gower Peninsula; Britain's first designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The Folk Club meets at the Greyhound Inn, Oldwalls, Llanrhidian, Gower, every Sunday and the Folk Festival is based at the Gower Heritage Centre in Parkmill, Gower."

The Festival will be held on the weekend of the 10th, 11th & 12th June 2005 at the Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Celtic Festival & Highland Games, Winston-Salem, NC 13-14 May 2005

"The Fifth Annual Celtic Festival & Highland Games will be on 13-14 May at Bethahara Park in Winston-Salem, NC. All events are FREE.

Activities start Friday evening, 13 May, with Celtic music featuring Carl Peterson, Naomis Fancy and Ken Bloom of Mappamund. Food and drinks available for purchase.

Activities on Saturday, 14 May, include Parade of Tartans, Clan tents, Celtic vendors, food, amateur athletics, Irish, Scottish and country dancing, the North Carolina Highland Regiment, Deep River Pipe & Drums and Border Collie Demonstrations.

Main stage entertainment includes Carl Peterson, Isla Pipers, Atwater-Donnell, Al Pettaway and Amy White.

Many childrens activities are planned, including kilt, sashes and hat costumes, drill instructions, a childrens parade, colonial games and childrens athletic competition.

For additional information, Phone: 336-924-8191 or e-mail Chuck Hotchkiss at Hotchkiss@alltel.net"


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spring in the air as Beltane attracts 8000 revellers

From: Scotsman.com News - Scotland - Edinburgh

"MORE than 8000 revellers turned out on Calton Hill to celebrate the onset of summer at the Beltane Fire Festival.

More than 100 drummers and dancers joined in a fire-lit procession around the hill, led by the May Queen and her warrior women, all dressed in white."

Ah Celtic summer... Yesterday it rained, it hailed, and it was 6 degrees celcius.


Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Atrebates - Living history group

"In the present day, 'Atrebates' is the name of a living history group, based at Butser Ancient Farm, nr Petersfield. During the year they are involved with demonstrating Celtic skills, and talking to the public about this fascinating bit of British history"

This is part of a larger site on the Roman Britain period. Lots of great information.


Sunday, April 24, 2005


"It's the anniversary of the Easter Uprising, in Dublin (1916). A band of Irish nationalists, led by poet Patrick Pearse, occupied the General Post Office and declared Irish independence from Great Britain. The English executed 15 rebels, including Pearse, who promptly became a great Irish martyr." - Garrison Keillor - The Writer's Almanac


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Celtic Origins

"This site also explores the history of the Celts, their myths and legends, and recent archaeological discoveries from ancient times. We also share jokes, not necessarily Celtic in nature."

The site is a combination of very good articles on Celtic History (I especially liked the articles on Owain Glyn Dŵr in the Wales section), and it is also a MSN discussion group.


Thursday, April 14, 2005


"A night with Bannockburn is a real ex-pats nostalgia trip. Energetic versions of many well known Scottish and Irish songs and tunes, some great instrumentals and a few originals to stir the heart. All the band members regularly play straight ceilidhs too so an evening of formal dancing is just as easy."

Some great Celtic Music recommended to me by email - Thanks Ted!


Monday, April 11, 2005

Saline Celtic Festival, Saline Michigan

"The Saline Festival began as a result of the Sister City relationship between Saline, MI and Brecon Wales. It is a volunteer organization comprised of an executive committee, event chairs and many volunteers. Area residents are invited to become part of the organizational and volunteer efforts of the festival. We meet monthly at City Hall.We have an office in City Hall at 100 North Harris Street.

The Festival is a one day event that draws about 10,000 people."

Mark your Calendars for July 16 2005 for the 10th annual Saline Celtic Festival.

Ric (in Michigan as I post this)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Celtic Cross Stitch

"Welcome to our home on the web. Here at celtic cross stitch we produce high quality cross stitch kits and charts for beginners and experts alike, specialising in Irish and Celtic designs, and are particularly noted for our authentic historical collection of illuminated letters and other illustrations from the Book Of Kells."

I'm dangerously close to being a "knitting blog" here, but the designs are interesting, and who am I to judge someone's expression of Celticness?


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

ASTERIX - The official Website

These are truly my favourite "Celts". Explore the virtual Celtic village of Asterix and Obelix. Have a laugh. Enjoy yourself.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Wallace 700

"With Stirling’s unique place in William Wallace’s life and legacy, it’s fitting that this area should be backdrop to a summer of events remembering Scotland’s hero 700 years after his death."

Be sure to check out the Stirling Council's website for lot's of information on William Wallace and the Wallace 700 celebrations.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wallace's sword leaves Scotland for first time

Gerard Seenan
Thursday March 31, 2005
The Guardian

"In a journey that spans seven centuries, the blood of at least a few Englishmen, and several thousand miles, the sword of William Wallace left Scotland yesterday for the first time - heading for an American railway station.

The Scottish national treasure was shipped to New York to take pride of place at an exhibition in Manhattan's Grand Central station to mark the city's Tartan Week celebrations."

If you're in the New York area why not take a look at the Tartan Week Celebrations?