Celts and Celtic Culture

The history of the Celts goes back as far as to 1200 BC. The Celtic civilization was widely spread all over Europe , but has left most significant marks in Ireland , Scotland and Wales . The Celtic people were a tribal people and had a highly evolved culture. Their knowledge, in for example philosophy, astronomy and geography, was so great that the Romans often employed Celtic teachers for their children's education. Many of these teachers were Celtic priests, so called Druids.

Since the Celts didn't write down their history, but instead transmitted knowledge orally, not much is left of their civilization in forms of a written archive. However, much of the Celtic culture is left in the Celtic art. Celtic symbols, such as complicated patterns and knotswork, can be found on archeological weapons and jewelry, as well as ordinary daily things, such as pots.

The tradition of Celtic patterns did not only include painting or engraving them on equipment and gear. Permanent and non-permanent tattoos and body painting were also an important part of the Celtic culture. Tattoos were commonly made with woad, which left at blue imprint in the skin. (In movies such as "Braveheart" and "King Arthur", the actors have blue body painting done.)

The Celtic tradition of elaborated knotswork symbolizes the crossing of the physical and spiritual elements of life, love and faith, forever interlaced in the knots. The traditional interlaced patterns symbolize the connection of all life and the labyrinth patterns are a represent the different paths that life can take. Another famous Celtic symbol is the Celtic cross which appeared during the time when Christianity came to Britain and Ireland . It is a successful mending of the Christian cross together with the ancient Celtic symbol of the Tree of Life.

Today Celtic symbols and patterns have had an upswing and more and more people choose to decorate their bodies with the old ancient symbols and patterns that descend from more than thousands years back. The Celts may be lost in history, but their art lives on.


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