Galicia and the Celtic League

Galicia has Celtic roots. Many are probably familiar with ‘la gaita’, the bagpipe as a well-known expression of Celtic culture. The Celts have left their mark on Galician culture. In addition to the bagpipe, there are several hundred words in Gallego, the Galician language, with Celtic roots.

The Galicians feel very connected to other Celtic cultures, such as the Northern Irish and Scots. Although the connection is mainly based on the similarity that they do not feel directly part of the country to which they belong. The (nationalistic) Scots do not feel part of Great Britain, just as the (nationalistic) Galicians do not feel part of Spain.

The Celtic League

In 1961, various pan-Celtic organizations founded the Celtic League. This League is a political and cultural organization that advocates for the so-called Celtic nations. The modern Celtic nations that form the Celtic League are Eire (Ireland), Alba (Scotland), Cymru (Wales), Brittany as Breizh (Brittany), Kernow (Cornwall), and Mannin (Isle of Man).

The ‘nations’ of the Celtic League

Read more about the Celtic League on Wikipedia.

Galicia in the Celtic League

In 1986, Galicia also joined the Celtic League. With this, Galicia became the seventh member of the League. However, immediately after the accession, there was protest against Galicia’s membership. According to some, Galicia did not meet the important linguistic criterion for membership. The language was not sufficiently Celtic. This led to Galicia being rejected from the group in 1987. Despite the Celtic roots, membership in the Celtic League is also a thing of the past. But the Celtic identity of Galicia remains.

Celtic de Vigo fun faact

Fun fact: Did you know that there are two football clubs in Scotland and Galicia that bear the same name in significance? Celtic Glasgow and Celta de Vigo! Both named after Celtic history.

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