In December of 1990, Danny O’Flaherty teamed with Welsh harpist Robin James-Jones to present the first Celtic Christmas show. The performance, exploring the old Christmas customs and songs of the Celtic nations, quickly became a popular annual tradition itself.
Now you can slip back in time, and savor the Christmas yuletide season as it has been celebrated for centuries among the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. In a live performance, Danny O’Flaherty, actors Michael Cahill, and Janet Shea, along with other talented cast members and musicians, will weave a magical evening of story and song on site at the venue.
Danny O’Flaherty’s Celtic Christmas traces the roots of our present holiday celebrations. As Christianity spread across the western world, it incorporated many existing pagan practices such as linking the nativity with a feast day for the winter solstice. This assimilation was most complete among the Druidic pagans of the Celtic world especially in Ireland where St. Patrick established the first truly non-Romanized Christian community.
All the Celtic countries incorporated the Druids’ respect for fire and sacred evergreens into their Christmas landscape. Revelry and good spirits were widespread as was the merry custom of wassailing. However each of these nations also developed their own distinct traditions:
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Credit: New-York Historical Society - "Great Egret," painted in Louisiana 1821