Celtic Cultural Minute

Thursday, 8pm

A weekly feature aired during WDIY's Celtic Faire every Thursday exploring Celtic traditions and history.

The Flag of Scotland

Aug 28, 2013

Some listeners of this weekly addition to Celtic Faire may know that the researcher for the topics is very proud of her Irish heritage. However, to bring awareness to the fullness of all Celtic nations celebrated by the Celtic Cultural Alliance, today’s spot features information about the Flag of Scotland., we’ll be covering flags from the other Celtic nations in subsequent broadcasts.

The Rob Roy is a cocktail created in 1894 by a bartender at the Waldorf Astoria New York. The drink was named in honor of the premiere of the operetta, Rob Roy by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith loosely based upon Scottish folk hero Robert Roy MacGregor. If you’d like to see a more accessible story of this historic figure, the 1995 film of the same name starring Liam Neeson and Jessica Lang is worth a rental.

The Potato

Aug 28, 2013

It is one of the strangest twists of fate that Ireland will forever be associated with the potato, an alien vegetable that was adopted as a staple food within fifty years after it was introduced to the land. This humble vegetable was eventually to become a great influence in the course of Ireland's history.

Today, we share a few Celtic Wedding traditions. The feast was one of the most important aspects of a Celtic wedding. Unlike today where the ceremony and reception are viewed separately, traditional Celtic weddings incorporated everything into one big ceremony. The families and friends of both the bride and groom were there along with members of the community. The Celtic bride was very important. The term bride is Celtic in origin and refers to Brigid (or Bríd) , an exalted goddess of Celtic lore. The veil is a very old tradition. Before the bride is veiled she is a maiden.


Aug 28, 2013

If you have ever heard of the word Lughnasa, you are either a student of ancient Celtic customs, a fan of Tony award-winning Broadway plays, or a devoted member of an ancient Celtic worship community. The average person has probably never even heard the word Lughnasa, even in Ireland where in modern Gaelic it is often called Lúnasa, meaning the month of August.

The flag of Ireland – And Thomas Meager

The national flag of Ireland is frequently referred to as the Irish tricolor.  Beginning at the flag post, the colors are green, white, and orange.

The Irish government has described the symbolism behind each color. Green representing the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, orange representing the followers of William of Orange in Ireland, and white representing the aspiration for peace between them.


Jul 11, 2013

Just when you thought we had enough patriotic celebrations, there’s a different patriotic celebration that happens in Northern Ireland one week after our own. The Twelfth (also called The Glorious Twelfth or Orangemen's Day) is the annual Protestant celebration held on the 12th of July. Originating in Ireland during the 18th century, it celebrates the 1688 Revolution and victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The Declaration of Independence is a document on which we find evidence of Irish contribution to the founding of the United States.

Among the citizens who signed what could have been a death warrant, were at least nine Irish Americans, a few of them born in Ireland.


Jun 26, 2013

On a recent evening walk, I saw the first flicker of summer fireflies. With only my canine companion, I remembered a childhood wonder. The memory stirred thoughts about Celtic fairies.

Today, when we think of fairies, we often think of them as tiny, supernatural beings with wings; glowing with uncommon light. They also possess magical powers, like Tinkerbell in the story of Peter Pan or the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. The modern fairies, as in most myth related culture, come from oral tradition.


May 8, 2013

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day; I’m going to share some information about a particularly ancient symbol. Sheela na gigs are figurative carvings of naked women found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain.

Such carvings are said to ward off death and evil, like other grotesques, such as gargoyles and were frequently part of church decorations all over Europe. It is commonly said that their purpose was to keep evil spirits away. They often are positioned over doors or windows, presumably to protect these openings.