Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Celtic Art and Designs

Celtic artwork dates back to 3,000 B.C. and can still be seen on stone carvings throughout Ireland. Much of the current fascination with Celtic art may have originated with the Book of Kells, an eighth century manuscript currently house at Trinity College in Dublin. This book features knots, and animal designs. The Celts created their designs using one or several unbroken lines. They believed that the more these lines interlaced each other, the greater their protection against evil. The unbroken lines symbolized infinity.

Celtic wedding rings may be made of one of these unique design styles, the most popular of which is know as the Celtic love knot. The lines of the Celtic love knot are forever entwined, as the two separate lives become one. Animal designs are also used. One of the most popular animals used for Celtic wedding rings is the heron, because herons mate for life.

Other Celtic symbols, including the Celtic cross, a family coat of arms, and horseshoes with the open ends up (so that the good luck won't run out), may be used to adorn invitations, napkins, wrappings for favors, and embroidered into the wedding dress and the bride's hanky. National Celtic symbols are also used as wedding decorations: the thistle to display Scottish heritage, the leek for Welsh heritage, and the shamrock for Irish heritage.

Copyright © 2005 by Anne Roos, excerpt from the liner notes to "Haste to the Wedding" CD, available on the Cambria Master Recordings Label. All rights reserved.

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