Lucky 13 Celtic Heritage Festival and Scottish Games

The Lucky 13 Celtic Heritage Festival is coming soon. It is hands down my favorite celtic event in Missouri each year. The festival is the weekend after Labor Day on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11th & 12th, 2015. The Festival is located at the Old City Park and Fairgrounds off East Ramsey Street in Buffalo, MO. The Calling of the Clans is scheduled for Friday evening, Sept. 11th beginning at 7PM and will be followed by the Ceilidh. Come out and join us for an evening of Clan representation and good Celtic music. There will be food and other vendors available with items for sale. Friday night activities are free to the public and is a great time to purchase your advance tickets for Saturday’s festivities at a reduction in price. On Saturday, Sept. 12th the festivities begin at 9AM with music at all three stages, vendors and wonderful food smells throughout the grounds. You will see the sheep, Highland and Dexter Cattle, the Welch ponies, the Clydesdales, llamas, listen to the storyteller, talk to the Clans, the kiddos will be able to enjoy the “Kids Realm” where they can try their skills at the mini games. Then try you luck at the hatchet throwing, or the miniature PUTT PUTT golf plus numerous other things to do. At noon there will be the Grand Parade leading off with the Bagpipers, the Buffalo School Band and the highlight of the parade is the performance by the Kilties. A full day of entertainment.

Highland Games 

Don’t you forget the Highland Games which also begins at 9AM. This year the SWMO Celtic festival has been chosen to be part of the Scottish Games League Heartland region, which means that if athletes attend our games they will be awarded points for the Scottish Games League (SGL) and there will be a final competition later in the season based on their points. So we are looking forward to many athletes attending the games this year. Come on and help cheer them on. They love your support. If anyone is interested in participating in the Athletic Games, please download an athletic form and send it in with your participation fee. We look forward to a great competition.

Honored Clan 

HONORED CLAN FOR 2015: Clan Douglas

Representing Clan Douglas are Harold Edington and Donna Tatum

Posted in Celtic Ozark Events | 1 Comment

For Love of the Sporran

imageI love the sporran.  To me, it is the quintessential “man purse.”  So, I thought I would make my official return to article writing about my favorite piece of apparel for my kilts. Before I continue, though, I want to just say: “I’m back!”  It is nice to have time back to enjoy writing. Here is how Wikipedia defines the term sporran:

The sporran (/ˈspɒrən/; Scottish Gaelic for “purse“), a traditional part of male Scottish Highland dress, is a pouch that performs the same function as pockets on the pocketless kilt. Made of leather or fur, the ornamentation of the sporran is chosen to complement the formality of dress worn with it. The sporran is worn on a leather strap or chain, conventionally positioned in front of the groin of the wearer.”

My clan kilt does not have any pockets, as is the case with most traditional kits (I have seen some where pockets were added. Bad form!) The sporran gave the wearer a way to carry personal items in a place that would be hard to steal.  They traditionally are made with items like horse hair, rabbit pelt, etc.  My personal versions use leather and chain to create a kind of belt to hold the sporran in place, as mentioned above.

In more modern times, the so called “street kilt” or “ultility kilt” may very well have pockets. I have a black street kilt from Kiltman that is my favorite kilt to wear all the time. There are even clip on pockets of various makes you can add. But I still wear my black leather sporran a lot anyway.  It is often easier to grab something out of the sporran than dig through the pockets that are interlaced with the pleats of the kilt. So even with a more modern, casual kilt, there is no reason to not wear the sporran.

Slainte dear friends,

Ray Province


Posted in Celtic History, Celtic Traditions | 1 Comment

The Origin of Celtic Knots

There are few images in the Celtic world more iconic than the Celtic knot. Celtic knot work came about rather suddenly in the history of the people, but it became an integral part of art, religion, and symbolism rather rapidly. There are many stories that the knot work came into Celtic history as part of the Celtic Druidic tradition, but that is not necessarily the case.

There is actually good reason to believe that Celtic Knots were a tradition that was passed on from Coptic Egypt.  Old Celtic manuscripts, as well as knot work, are very similar to those found in Egypt during the height of their art, knowledge, and culture.  One of the largest libraries in the ancient world existed here, so it should not be too much of a surprise that some of that knowledge made its way to what is now England, Ireland, and Scotland. A 5th century copy of the Acts of the Apostles, preserved in the Morgan Library in New York City, is seen by a number of scholars as the “missing link” between the Celtic and Middle Eastern knot work traditions.

Well, Celtic knots may have got their start in Egypt, but that start did not finally dictate the extent to which the Celtic people would develop the art of knot work.  Once knots took on a “spiritual significance” with the Celtic Christians, the knots became quite complex in design.  This is especially true of cross designs, and the triangle style designs used to represent Trinitarian Theology. The art developed fully by the 10 Century A.D.  During the middle ages, the style spread across most of Europe.

You can find examples of Celtic knots being designed and used all the way to our current century, though the use of Celtic knots in art has fallen off a bit from the 19th Century onward.  In more modern times, you see the use of the artwork in jewelry, and lately in the design of tattoos.

Modern use of Celtic knot work  began to change and expand  when designers like Archibald Knox and Alexander Ritchie started to make brooches in the forms of knots, and knot work became more the subject of designs, rather than taking a back seat to other messages or interests. When these modern designers began to take elements such as single knots and make these the focus of designs, or even to make a single knot the entire object, this was a profoundly creative act. Knots and details were beginning to take on lives of their own as standalone statements.

Posted in Celtic History, Celtic Traditions | Leave a comment