The Celtic Calendar
The oldest known Celtic calendar was discovered in Coligny, France. It was one large stone plate and compiled of thirteen months in accordance with the moon cycles. An additional month was added every two and half years in order to keep the months aligned with the solar calendar. The Celts divided the year into two halves, the dark and the light. Each day was measured from dusk to dusk and so was each year. The year began at the beginning of the dark half of the year, with Samhain (October 31st). The Solstices and Equinoxes were so important to the Celts and pre-Celts, they built monuments that aligned with these days and celebrated half quarters with festivals. Agriculture was a matter of life and death and the major calendar events reflect the circle of agriculture.
Celebrated on December 21st across the northern hemisphere, winter solstice marks the darkest day of the year and the moment summer is born. The Celts had many traditions that Western cultures still celebrate today around Christmas time.
Watch the video below to see great and small monuments the pre-Celts built and which traditions have endured.
Celebrated on February 1st, Imbolc is the beginning of spring for the Gaelic speaking Celtic nations.
The Celts were an agrarian culture and the calendar included the spring equinox as part of the people's survival.
A cross-quarter fire festival, celebrated on May 1st, Bealtaine is the beginning of summer for the Gaelic-speaking Celtic nations.
Also known as midsummer, all the Celtic nations celebrated summer solstice. Learn about ancient alignments, old traditions and modern day connections.
The first harvest of the year was a celebration! Food was plentiful again. A cross-quarter festival, Lughnasadh heralds the beginning of Autumn for the Celts.
The second harvest, Autumn Equinox was more of an agricultural hourglass than a festival.
The world is rich in diversity of culture. In the United States, there is a meeting of many cultures and the ones people came from can be forgotten over generations.
We strive to preserve Celtic heritage for American's of Celtic descent so they may be connected to the threads of their past, present, and future.
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