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A European cultural peoples, the Celts were first around from either the 7th or 8th century B.C. Named “Galli” by the Romans, and “Keltoi” by the Greeks, both words meant “barbarians.” From the 3rd to the 5th centuries B.C. they occupied vast lands including most of Europe north of the Alps.

At around the 4th or 5th century B.C., the Celts arrived in Britain, and a little later in Ireland.

 

What is the Celtic Association with Scotland, Ireland, and Wales?

In these areas, the Celtic culture survived longer than in continental Europe. In many respects, Celtic culture is still strong in these countries, particularly Southern Ireland.

In continental Europe, the Romans defeated many Celtic groups after which, they subsumed their culture. Between 52 and 58 B.C., Julius Caesar fought successfully against the Gauls, during which, he invaded southern Britain in 54 B.C. He did not achieve success in conquering the islands, however.

In 43 A.D., the Romans made a further attempt, managing to push the Britons westwards (to Cornwall and Wales) and northwards (to Scotland). In the year A.D. 120, Hadrian’s Wall was erected in order to provide protection for the Romans against marauding Celts in the north.

Ireland never experienced any Roman occupation, nor did the country witness an Anglo-Saxon invasion once the Romans were forced to withdraw from England in the 5th century. Thus, Celtic culture has ever since been stronger in Southern Ireland in particular.

In the 7th to 9th centuries A.D., Viking invasions destroyed many cultural elements in Ireland (and in Britain). The Vikings founded numerous Irish cities, including Dublin and Belfast. Nevertheless, they never took over the island in entirety, in the way the Celts had before them.

Ireland was never truly occupied by a further nation until the French Norman invasion after the battle against the English in 1066. British occupancy in Ireland lasted until 1922, albeit, Northern Ireland remains until British rule.

Many elements of the Celtic culture survive throughout Britain and Southern Ireland in particular. Not least being that of the celebration of Halloween, which is considered to have been a sacred festival first introduced by the Celts.

 

Are there Celts Still Living?

In Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, as well as Brittany in France, Gaelic (Gael-tech / Celtic) culture lives on strongly. In Ireland, for example:

-          The majority of Irish consider themselves of Celtic heritage.

-          As many as 100,000 continue to speak Gaelic as their first language, as opposed to English. As a second language, some half million people speak Gaelic.

-          In Southern Ireland (and in some parts of Wales), the Gaelic language is used on street signs and shop fronts, as well as in phone books.

 

For a vast array of Halloween movie costumes, click the web link.

 

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