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What is the Celtic tradition for weddings?

Weddings are a beautiful and important event in every culture. They are a celebration where two people promise to spend the rest of their lives together. The Celtic tradition is rich with symbolism and customs, and weddings are no exception. The Celtic peoples believed that everything in life was interconnected, and that marriage was a sacred bond of love and loyalty between two people. In this blog post, we will explore the Celtic tradition for weddings, with a specific focus on the tradition of holding stones during the vows.

The importance of stones in Celtic tradition

The Celts believed that stones were imbued with mystical and spiritual energies. They saw them as a symbol of stability, strength, and endurance. They also believed that stones could be used to protect against evil and negative forces. The Celts were known to build stone circles and cairns, with the intention of creating an area of positive energy and protection.

The role of stones in Celtic weddings

During a Celtic wedding, it was customary for the bride and groom to hold a stone in their hands as they recited their vows. The concept behind this tradition was to set their vows in stone, to show they were everlasting and unbreakable. The stone represented the unyielding strength and stability of their love and commitment to each other.

The types of stones used

Celtic weddings used a variety of stones, each with its own symbolic importance. One of the most commonly used stones was the Claddagh ring, which is an Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. The ring features a heart, held by two hands, and topped with a crown. The heart represents love, the hands represent loyalty, and the crown represents friendship.

Another popular stone used in Celtic weddings was the Irish wedding stone, also known as the “wedding stone of Ireland.” This was a large flat stone, with a design etched into it. The bride and groom would stand on either side of the stone, holding hands, as they said their vows. The stone would then be buried in the ground, symbolizing the couple’s commitment to each other and to the land.

The wedding ceremony

The Celtic wedding ceremony was a beautiful and symbolic event. The bride and groom would typically stand before an altar or fire, surrounded by family and friends. The ceremony would begin with a blessing, followed by the exchange of rings. The couple would then hold the stones in their hands, as they recited their vows. After the vows, the couple would kiss, and the ceremony would conclude with a final blessing.


The Celts believed in the power of symbolism and ritual. Their traditions for weddings were no exception, with the use of stones being a particularly important tradition. By holding stones during their vows, the bride and groom were proclaiming their love and commitment to each other, and setting their vows in stone. The Celtic wedding ceremony was a beautiful and spiritual event, full of symbolism and meaning. Today, many people still incorporate elements of Celtic tradition into their weddings, to honor their ancestors and keep their traditions alive.


What was the ancient Celtic marriage ritual?

The ancient Celtic marriage ritual known as “Handfasting,” is a tradition that dates back more than 2,000 years. This practice is still popular today, especially among those who want to include Celtic traditions in their wedding ceremony. The unique aspect of this marriage ritual was that it was an engagement or commitment ceremony that allowed the couple to live together for one year and a day to see if they were compatible. If they were not, they could simply separate without the need for divorce proceedings.

Handfasting ceremony originated among the Celts, who were an ancient and tribal people that dominated Europe before the Roman Empire. The ceremony was common during the medieval and pre-Christian period. In fact, it was not only a wedding ceremony, but also an engagement or a trial marriage. This allowed the couple to test their compatibility before committing to a lifetime partnership.

The handfasting ceremony involved the couple holding hands, and the priest or celebrant tying a cord or ribbon around their hands in a figure-eight knot. This knot is a symbol of eternity, and it represents the union of two people bound together in love. The ribbon tying was symbolic of joining the lovers as one and the tying of their fates together.

The ceremony took place outdoors, and the couples exchanged vows, made promises, and spoke of their love for each other. They then jumped over a broomstick or a fire, which was a symbol of purification and unity. The jump signified that they were committed to each other and ready to start their new life together.

Handfasting was not a legally recognized form of marriage, and the couple might or might not have followed it up with a legally binding ceremony in later years. The concept of handfasting was unique to the Celts, and the tradition has been passed down through the centuries. Today, it is often included in modern-day wedding ceremonies to honor the ancient Celtic practice and add a touch of history and tradition to modern weddings.

Is a Celtic knot Irish or Scottish?

Celtic knots are a type of art that originated from the Celtic people, who were known for their intricate and stylized designs. Celtic art is believed to have originated in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but it is difficult to determine the exact origin of the Celtic knot as it was used extensively by all three cultures.

The Celts were a diverse group of people who shared similar beliefs, customs, and traditions. They had a strong oral tradition, which meant that they relied heavily on storytelling and mythology to pass down their heritage from one generation to the next. Among their artistic achievements, the Celts were known for their metalwork, and they used intricate knot symbols as well as depictions of animals and everyday items to decorate their jewelry and weapons.

Celtic knots are characterized by their continuous lines that weave and twist to create complex patterns. The knots were often designed to resemble animals, such as dragons or serpents, or to represent abstract concepts, such as eternity or the interconnectedness of all things. The knots were also used as decorative motifs on illuminated manuscripts, stone carvings, and metalwork.

While Celtic knots are often associated with Irish culture, they were also used extensively by the Scottish Celts. Scottish Celts had their own unique style of knotwork, which was influenced by their Viking and Pictish neighbors. Scottish Celtic knots are often more symmetrical and geometric than their Irish counterparts, and make use of simpler, pared-down designs.

Celtic knots are a product of the Celtic culture that spread across Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. While they are often associated with Irish culture, they are also an important part of Scottish Celtic art and design. The intricate patterns and symbolism of Celtic knots continue to captivate and inspire people around the world today.

What does the Celtic knot mean in pagan?

The Celtic knot, also known as the Triquetra or Trinity knot, is a popular symbol in Celtic and Pagan cultures. This knot consists of three interconnected loops that form a triangle shape. This symbol has been used for hundreds of years in Celtic art, and it has many meanings and interpretations.

In Paganism, the Triquetra represents the threefold nature of the earth, sea, and sky. These three elements are integral to nature, and they were believed to be the foundation of Celtic mythology. The symbol also embodies the three phases of life (birth, life, and death) and the concept of the triple goddess. Many Pagans believe that the Triquetra symbolizes the three aspects of the goddess: maiden, mother, and crone.

Moreover, the Celtic knot can also represent the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. The intricate design of the knot shows how everything is connected and related to each other. It symbolizes unity, harmony, and balance. For some Pagans, the knot represents the continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

In addition, there are different variations of the Triquetra that have their own meanings in Paganism. For example, the Triquetra with a circle around it, known as the Triple Celtic knot, symbolizes the unity between the three parts of the Triquetra. It also represents the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. The unbroken Trinity Knot, also known as the Triquetra, is an emblem of unbreakable love and protection. This variation of the knot is thought to be a powerful talisman and can offer protection against malevolent forces.

The Celtic knot holds a great significance in Paganism. It encompasses a myriad of meanings, including the triple goddess, interconnectedness, and the cycles of life. Its intricate design and symbolic nature continue to fascinate and inspire people all over the world.