More than 19 million people are currently living in the old Celtic countries, which include Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England and France. There is a deep-rooted connection between these countries in terms of heritage. This connection includes not only language, but also music, dance, culture, archaeology, traditions, and a devoted love of country. Science has even proven that Celtic people have some shared genes and DNA that makes them unique from other races. If you have Celtic ancestors and want to learn more about your heritage, there are some great ways to embrace your identity.
Listen to Some Celtic Music
Celtic folk music is traditionally passed down from one musician to another in the same way that stories were. These are songs and dances that weren’t written for the purpose of making money, but rather for the enjoyment of the community and as a facet of storytelling. Much of Celtic music was traditionally written to sing and dance to — there are lively jigs and reels that you can’t help tap your toes to. Since many of the songs are part of a great storytelling tradition, you can find plenty of music about historical figures of myth and legend, as well as songs of the everyday joys, struggles, and tribulations of the Celtic people.
Discover Symbolic Gifts
Each Celtic country has its own incredible symbolic treasures that it is known for. When you are looking to buy a gift for a friend or loved one, get them something that also tells them about your own heritage. For instance, if your family originated from Wales, a traditional Welsh lovespoon is a wonderful idea. These carved spoons were made by young men who were going on long journeys — they would give a lovespoon as a gift to their intended wife as a symbol of their commitment and affection.
Interestingly, the different symbols carved into lovespoons all have unique meanings. For instance, a cross is for faith and a horseshoe is for luck. The earliest known lovespoon dates back to the 1600s. If your family originated from Ireland, perhaps look for a gift that incorporates a traditional Irish blessing such as “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back.” This heartfelt message is thought to bring good luck.
Explore Your Family Tree
Starting a family tree can give you a wonderful insight about your history and how your Celtic ancestors lived. The first step should be having a chat with your immediate family about what they remember and any stories (or even rumors) they know about where they came from. You may be surprised what you find out! You can create an online family tree, using websites like Ancestry of FamilySearch. They can offer access to census information, as well as documents like birth certificates and marriage certificates. You may even find other people online searching for their Celtic family that is linked to yours.
Our history is what makes us unique and special. If you family is from a Celtic country, it’s important to embrace this unique heritage and enjoy learning about the Celtic traditions of the past.