The Celtic Festival is a fun and exciting event for all ages that is held on Friday and Saturday, July 8-9 in Saline, Michigan.



The Saline Celtic Festival is famous for its rich blend of Celtic music and dance. We have something for everyone!



There’s plenty to see and do at the Festival, including Jousting, Irish Football, Ancient Athletics, Sheepherding, and much more!



Calling all Kids! This is the place to go for a fun-filled day of crafts, ducky river races, story-telling, and more!



Click here for a listing of all the music and dance entertainers>


2016 Music Entertainment Now Listed!
Check out this year’s bands coming to the festival! More will be posted soon!

Online Ticket Sales Are Now Open
Get your tickets early and save big! Click here to purchase>

Registration now open for the Mastodon Celtic Challenge!
If you enjoy running over, under, around and through obstacles; splashing through streams; sloshing through mud, climbing over hay bale mountains; this event is perfect for you! Click here for more information, and to register>

Sign up for Highland Dancing!
Registration is now open for the 2016 competition! Click here to register>

Save the date!!!
The 2016 Saline Celtic Festival will be held July 8-9, 2016!




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Spring is nearly upon us - February 1st or Imbolc (Imbolg) is the name of the ancient Irish festival marking the beginning of spring. The main ancient Irish festivals all fall on cross quarter days which are days which mark the midpoint between solstices and equinoxes. The four festivals are named Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa and each also mark the beginning of a season. For centuries the festival was celebrated on the first of February but the actual astronomical event can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February. In 2016 it will occur at 09:30 on February 4th in Ireland or February 3rd in lands near the International Date Line like Hawaii. In the lands “down under” with a reversed calendar it is Lughnasa, the beginning of autumn. The exact meaning of the word Imbolc remains unclear, some think it derives from the Old Irish í mBolc meaning “in the belly” and this has given rise to various speculative theories. It is a time when ewes begin to lactate and give birth, an outward sign that winter has ended and the summer is about to be born. Thus the “in the belly” is believed by some to refer to pregnancy of sheep. Others believe that it refers to milk because of its similarity to the word “oimelc/oí melg” used in the 10th century Sanas Cormaic (Cormac’s Glossary). Some people have taken this to mean “sheep’s milk”. The word “melg” meaning ‘milk’ comes from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) (the ancestor language of most European languages) word “melg” which means "to wipe, to rub off" which is what one does when hand milking an animal. Purification/cleansing was an important aspect of many ancient festivals and “oí melg” is not milking but rubbing, as in the act of cleansing. Further evidence of cleansing comes from the Roman festival of Februalia. The Old Irish word for February is ‘febra’, ‘febrae’ from Latin ‘Februarius’ which in turn comes from ‘februa’ meaning purifications. However, if we accept that í mBolc is referring to pregnancy it might not be connected to sheep at all. It is the time of year when the ground is prepared to be impregnated with seed. Therefore í mBolc could have been used figuratively as the term for planting time or the planting season. The term spring clean survives to this day and it is strongly associated with imbolc therefore imbolc could also be an old term for the spring clean. What we know for sure is that the cross quarter days were of importance to the inhabitants of Ireland since the Stone Age from astronomical alignments of ancient monuments. At the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara, the rising sun at Imbolc illuminates the chamber and also again at Samhain. The structure approximately 5,000 years old dated from between 3000 and 2500BC which means it predates the arrival of Celtic culture in Ireland. Approximate pronunciation guide. imbolc – im bolc imbolg – im bolg Samhain – sow in (as in female pig) Bealtaine – be all chin ah Lughnasa – loo nah sah oimelc/oí melg – oi melk Sanas– shan as Photo by Annie Gormlie, The chamber inside the Mound of Hostages on the Hill of Tara flic.kr/p/o9ixcu

4 months ago  ·  

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