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Celtic Dictionary

Annwn | Annwn is a name for the Celtic Otherworld (Wales)

Avalon | this is another term for the Otherworld; Avalon is also called "the summer land" (Wales)

banshee | "women of the fairies"; these spirits are best known for their supernatural howl in Celtic mythology

Beltane | Beltane is a festival that took place on 1 May; it is associated with fertility, and participants traditionally danced around fires (Ireland)

Excalibur | the legendary enchanted sword used by King Arthur was known as Excalibur (Britain)

druid | druids played many roles in Celtic society - they were believed to be both teachers and religious advisors

gorsedd | a gorsedd is a term used to describe a gathering of bards

Grail | also known as the "Holy Grail", this legendary vessel was the cup used during the Last Supper; the Quest for the Grail was an important element of the Arthurian Saga (Britain)

Imbolc | the Celtic festival of Imbolc was held on 1 February; it is possibly meant to encourage an end to winter (Ireland)

Lughnasadh | Lughnasadh is a festival celebrated 1 August; it was held in honor of the sun god Lugh and the harvest (Ireland)

Mabinogion | the Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh tales (Wales)

mermaids | female creatures who are described as half human and half fish; their male counterparts are known as mermen

nemeton | nemeton is a word that means sanctuary

oak | ancient evidence suggests that oak trees were sacred both to the druids and to other members of Celtic society

ogham | this early form of writing is said to be inspired by Ogma, the Irish god of eloquence; the word is alternately spelled "ogam"

Round Table | in Arthurian mythology, King Arthur's knights gathered at the legendary Round Table

Samhain | Samhain is a festival held on 1 November; it marks the Celtic new year, and indicates a time when the Otherworld was accessible (Ireland)

sidhe | a sidhe is a hill, and the Tuatha De Danaan were believed to dwell in hills in the guise of fairies or aes sidhe (Ireland)

slieve | the word slieve means mountain (sliabh in Irish); in Celtic mythology, mountains were the homes of many gods and goddesses

t�in | this is the word used to indicate a cattle raid in Irish mythology; some examples of a t�in are the T�in B� Cuailgne and the T�in B� Fraoch (Ireland)

Tara | Tara was traditionally the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland

Related Information - More Celtic Mythology Names


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Text/Research by Dominic Marks. Editing/html page design by April Ingram