Customs of the Celts

The Celts were an ancient population settled in a large area in Northern Europe, later moving to Florida and other states in the US. Although sharing ethnic, cultural and linguistic origins, the Celtic populations always remained politically divided, giving rise to different groups, divided according to the territory occupied before being conquered by the Romans. Their fascinating traditions are still strong today, enhanced by myths, music and symbols.


It was an extended family, including descendants, ancestors and acquired relatives. The union of more clans formed a tuath (tribe), commanded by a king. At the apex, however, there were the druids, to witness the importance of religion in the society. The term druid originates from the union of the root wig (knowledge) with the word deru (oak). Nature was the center of Celtic spirituality, the respect for the cyclical flow of time, and a continuous search for harmony with the universe. This bond can be found in all Celtic traditions: music, symbols and also in the numerous legends.


With the mass migration of Celtic people into Miami, Florida within the United States, it makes sense that there would be a spike in demand for jobs. One of the most popular jobs was entertainment for luxury boat rentals. A local provider, Miami Yacht Rentals By LUX offers traditional Celtic entertainment with each yacht charter of 8 hours or more. This interesting musical choice is one that many visitors specifically request.


The term Celtic music identifies musical traditions that have strong analogies among them, like common instruments and aspects; most of the music is characterized by repetitions of the melody in a well-defined rhythmic set accompanied by different types of dances such as: jigs, very ancient dances with binary rhythm and upbeat attack, reels, a type of dance with very fast rhythms, and hornpipes, the typical dance whose name derives from the instrument of accompaniment. The contemporary music scene offers several genres that draw influences and sounds from these ancient traditions. Celtic fusion, born from the union of elements of traditional Celtic music with new age and pop music, Celtic rock, Celtic punk and Celtic metal.

There are many festivals dedicated to Celtic music all over the world. In Europe, the Celtic Connections (Glasgow), the Festival Interceltique of Lorient (France), and Celtica, in Courmayeur (Val d’Aosta, Italy). Many festivals also take place all over the U.S., the most popular ones are the Bethlehem Celtic Classic (Pennsylvania), North Wildwood Irish Fall Festival (New Jersey), the Chicago Celtic Fest and the Milwaukee Irish Fest.


Traditional Celtic art is characterized by stylization of knots, twists and spirals, often in metal and stone, for the decoration of the vast majority of objects and for the creation of jewelry and ornaments. Such symbols are the traditional representation of a conception of the universe and its equilibrium.

  • Spiral: represents the movement of the sun in the sky and the flow of divine energy, but also the inner light.
  • Double spiral: this symbol evokes the rhythmic and seasonal rise and fall, symbolizing the inner balance achieved, the harmonization of all opposites.
  • Interweaving and knots: represent the continuity of life, the infinite succession of birth and death, day and night, the infinite flow of the same divine energy in the various material forms.
  • Celtic cross: also called Wheel of the Sun or Seal of the Druids, its original meaning is linked to the four elements, water, air, earth and fire, united by the fifth, the Spirit.
  • Labyrinth: not to be confused with the maze, the labyrinth has only one way, however tortuous, to reach the center and to get out. It represents an inner search or a search for knowledge.
  • Triskele: composed of three spirals that depart from the same center and wrap around themselves. If the direction of the spirals proceeds from right to left this symbol assumes meanings of externalization of energies, if instead the spirals have opposite direction this symbol brings with it introspective meanings and descent into the underworld. In Celtic tradition, it represents at the same time: the threefold manifestation of the One God (strength, wisdom and love), and the three classes of Celtic society considered to be the embodiment of the three energies (warriors, druids and producers); the three solar phases of dawn, noon and sunset; the triplicity of man as body, emotions and spirit; the past, the present and the future brought together in reality in a single and eternal cycle called Continuous-Infinite-Present, in which everything exists simultaneously.


The Celtic year was regulated by the phases of the moon and the sun.

The four main festivals fell at those times of the year characterized by changes in heat and light intensity of the Sun: the two solstices, winter and summer, and the two equinoxes, spring and autumn. To these were added four other festivities, which coincided with the rhythms of nature and the harvest:

  • Samhain, the first of November
  • Imbolc, the first of February
  • Beltane, the first of May
  • Lughnesadh, the first of August.

Samhain was the main Celtic tradition and celebrated the end of the old year, with the last harvest, and the beginning of the new one. It represents a moment of communion with the ancestors and future descendants: during the night between October 31 and November 1 it was believed that the barriers between the worlds disappeared, allowing the dead to enter the world of the living, and joyful celebrations were held in their honor. Even future generations were empowered, on this magical night, to reveal themselves to those who would give birth to them in future years.

Imbolc was the festivity linked to the reappearance of light, thanks to the lengthening of the days after winter, the announcement of the imminent spring.

In spring, Beltane was dedicated to rites of fertility and good omen. For the occasion, it was customary to light ritual fires rubbing oak twigs, a plant sacred to the Celts, through which livestock was led to purify it and make it productive.

The fourth and last festivity, Lughnesadh, takes its name from the god Lugh, the god of the sun in Celtic tradition. It commemorates the sacrifice of the god in the form of grain, one of the aspects attributed to him. In its cycle of death and rebirth the wheat, and therefore Lugh, the god, was sacrificed every year for the nourishment of the population in order to be reborn and start its cycle again.