Celebrate Celtic style
Of all the holidays that we have in this country, St. Patrick’s Day is the one that although specific to one nationality, the Irish, is loved and adored by Irish and nonIrish alike. In fact, all things Celtic seem to have a huge following. With the wealth of Irish and Celtic music and the fun culture, it is easy to see why. If you enjoy Celtic music, have some Irish flowing through your veins, or are just curious about the Celtic history and festivals, you will find some entertaining and informative items on the following popular Celtic websites. They are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating.
1. CELT – Corpus of Electronic Texts: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/index.html
Global Alexa Rating: 61,287
This site is Ireland’s longest running Humanities Computing project – a free digital humanities resource for Irish history, literature and politics. It is a searchable online textbase that has over 1,400 documents on everything from literature to history. The Published Texts area includes a number of publications that have been translated from Irish or Latin, mostly into English. You’ll find most of the meat of this website in the Resources section, including a table of contents, maps, bibliographies, Celtic scholars and more.
2. ElectricScotland: http://www.electricscotland.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 323,169
This site is devoted to all things Scottish. It includes a vast selection of articles on history and culture. You can read through the articles at your leisure or use the site search engine to locate specific information that interests you. There is also a news feed that includes news stories from both Scotland and from the Scots Diaspora overseas. The site is well organized and loaded with great information.
3. Celtic Woman: http://celticwoman.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 551,128
You may have seen their performance on PBS. Celtic Woman is internationally renowned for their inspirational music. There are four singers and a violinist that began in 2004 and their songs are hitting No 1 on the Billboard’s World Albums – in fact four of their six recordings have. You can watch a video at http://video.pbs.org/video/2365186594/ and another at http://www.pbs.org/program/celtic-woman-believe/. The website link given is for their site where you can read news about them, view videos and the gallery and shop.
4. Brobdingnagian Bards: http://www.thebards.net/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,048,738
Whether you simply call them The Bards, or attempt to pronounce Brobdingnagian (brAHb’ding-näg-EE-en), you will truly enjoy this original Celtic Renaissance music duo. They are one of the most popular Celtic groups online with their unique brand of folk music on the autoharp, recorder and mandolin. There is a link so that you can listen to their music online. A nice feature of this site is their Celtic lyric directory which is a combination of traditional Celtic lyrics, original folks songs, filk songs and some cover songs that they perform. One of the cutest songs is #5, entitled “Do Virgins Taste Better Medley.”
5. FestivalTrek: http://www.festivaltrek.com/festivals-category/celtic-heritage/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,846,748
If you are looking for a Celtic festival to attend during your next vacation, here is the site for you. It includes the festival name, start and end dates, location and a website or video if available. You can sort the list by start date, end date, city or state to make it easy to locate a festival where you plan to travel or when you will be traveling. In some cases the dates will have already passed, but should you see that, go to the website because many festivals are annual events and the website will often give you the date for next year. You can also use this site to find other types of festivals besides Celtic ones.
6. Marc Gunn: http://marcgunn.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 2,546,776
Marc Gunn is one of the most well-known Celtic American musicians. As an award-winning rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture and more, his site is full of information, blogs, videos, podcasts, art, discography, shows and much more. Learn some interesting facts about Marc Gunn and be sure to listen to some of his songs on the website. There are over a dozen free Celtic and folk mp3s and over 200 hours of great music in podcasts that you can download freely and if you like what you hear, you can buy his CD. A cute song on there is “Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits.”
7. The Encyclopedia of Traditional Celtic Music: http://www.standingstones.com/musencyc.html
Global Alexa Rating: 3,599,407
This is a no-frills collection of information on the subject of Celtic music history, historical performance techniques and much more. There are articles about what Celtic music is, traditional song, traditional dancing, traditional Irish music and other topics you will find interesting. Not a fancy site, but worth taking a few minutes to visit.
8. Celtic Music Magazine: http://celticmp3s.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 6,809,875
The Celtic Music Magazine is another site operated by Marc Gunn. This is a webzine dedicated to the music, culture and history of the Celtic community. It offers free podcasts, MP3s, reviews, and historical and academic articles. You can subscribe to the monthly magazine (it’s free!) or get free blog email updates. Be sure to check out the link at the top of the page regarding the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast app available for iPhone/iPad and Android.
9. Celtic Cafe: http://www.celticcafe.com/celticcafe/Home/index.html
Global Alexa Rating: 9,443,382
The Celtic Café is your worldwide community for Celtic culture. There are a number of sections involved with this site including music, dance, books, theatre, film, Celtic nations, tour dates, Café Buzz and more. A nice feature is links to the seven Celtic “Nations” of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany, and Galicia & Asturia. Café Buzz is the Celtic Café Yahoo Group.
10. Celtic-Culture.Com: http://www.celtic-culture.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 12,421,982
This site has quite a bit of information on a wide variety of subjects, including Celtic art, history, jewellery, language, mythology, religion, symbols, tattoos, bagpipes, dragons, druids, fairies, family crests, Ireland, Wales, genealogy, music and more. The site was started by Ron Dennis, but is now being handled by Mike Domeck who is of Celtic descent on his mother’s side of the family.
For each site listed here, there are dozens more that do not have a traffic count rating but are nonetheless a great resource. Let this list just be your starting point and you’ll find a wealth of information and entertainment to keep you occupied for a long time to come. For example, you might check into some travel sites that offer tours of Ireland and Scotland, sites to find your Celtic ancestors and much more.