Celtic Culture



Celtic Tattoos

In recent years Celtic Tattoos have enjoyed a revival and are now worn by many of the worlds most prominent artists. This Celtic art form provides the individual with a wide array of mystical designs, both personal and traditional.

Tattoos can be permanent or temporary providing that special lifelong inspiration or the temporary expression of love or meaning. But how does the Celtic culture relate to Tattoos you ask?

Celtic Tattoos

The Celtic culture is very ancient. It has been recently discovered that the Celtic culture dates back over 28,000 years. However, even today it is still a living force in the modern world, through its art, music, writing, and it's spirituality. Why?

Because the civilization of the Celts has continued without break over the centuries. This unbroken tradition makes a Celtic Tattoo ever more relevant in the modern world.

A Little Background

It has been said that the Celts transmitted their culture orally, never writing down their history or any facts. Although this may be true in the last few hundred years no one knows, for sure, since the Church had so many documents, manuscripts, scrolls and books destroyed during the Dark Ages. Since the early Church associated Celts with paganism and witchcraft it can be surmised that they alone destroyed any written documentation that may have been discovered up until then.

Nevertheless, this accounts for the extreme lack of knowledge about the Celtic culture prior to their contact with the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. But by that time the Celtics had already been around for centuries.

They were generally well educated, particularly on topics such as religion, philosophy, geography and astronomy. The history of the Celtic peoples goes back some tens of thousands of years. At one time all of Europe was Celtic. England was ruled entirely by the Celts. Eventually the Romans, Angles and Saxons came and pushed the Celts to the north and to the west.

One of the great Celtic events of history was the Fifth - Century battle between King Arthur and his Celtic army against the dark pagan hordes in England (as the Celts termed the non-Celtic peoples).

The Celts considered King Arthur’s loss to be the death of civilization. King Arthur himself remains an important figure within Celtic legend. The original historic story is now much embroidered with medieval knights and traditions.

The ancient Celtic Art was full of interlacing patterns, ideal for translation into tattoo designs. These included elaborate knot work, spirals, animal forms and animal zoomorphism along with a wide array of vibrant colours.

The early Celts displayed their art for example on metal, jewellery, their weapons, figurines and pots. These are just some of the many artifacts that have come to light.

Knot work tradition in manuscript painting spread the style from Britain and Ireland to Scotland (Pictland and Dalriada), Wales and Northumbria. With the travels of the missionaries from the Celtic church it spread to Europe.


Years later the Viking raiders appropriated many of the Celtic design concepts into their own personalized and more complex style of animal interlace. This help spread the Celtic symbols and tattoo's to the Scandinavian countries. From there it spread throughout Europe.

Modern Celtic peoples have evolved traditional symbols for themselves. People of Celtic descent all over the world often proudly wear these symbols as tattoos and in many other ways to show that they are of Celtic descent. Even many of non-Celtic blood lines now proudly wear Celtic designs in their personal tattoos.

For example - the most common Irish symbol is the three - leaved shamrock, although the Harp is often used as well. The harp has been the national instrument for all the Celtic people since the dawn of their history.

The Scottish symbol is the Thistle, along with the wearing of tartans and or the kilt. The Welsh flag is a red dragon on a green and white background. The Welsh Celtic people consider the red dragon their most Welsh symbol, but along with the dragon they recognize the leek and the daffodil.

For more detailed information about Celtic Tattoos please visit My Celtic Tattoo site. There you will find many pages of detailed information about tattooing along with honest reviews of the more popular tattoo sites. In addition, you will find many unique Celtic, Dragon, Fairy and Tribal tattoos plus more added on an on-going basis!

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