Celtic Cultural Alliance

The Many Uses of the Autumn Apple

Oct 25, 2017

When you think of Halloween, you may think of pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn…but apples?  Well, apples were a symbol of Halloween long before American pumpkins. Halloween as we know it is rooted in the ancient Celtic traditions surrounding Samhain, a fire festival that marked the end of the harvest and beginning of winter in the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, etc.

The History of the Tartan

Sep 20, 2017

The tartan has gained international popularity with people selecting and sporting a design of his or her fancy.

Travelers to Scotland over the past several hundred years have noted the Tartan worn by its inhabitants. These records refer to it as ‘mottled’, ‘marled’ and ‘sundrie colored’, but perhaps the best description comes from the Gaelic word breacan, meaning chequered.

Hosts George Miller and Kate Scuffle previewed the Celtic Classic 2017 on this edition of Lehigh Valley Arts Salon.

They talked with Marcie Mulligan, the Cultural Outreach Coordinator for the Celtic Cultural Alliance about what's in store for this year's Festival and Highland Games in Bethlehem.    (Original air-date: 9/18/2017)  

The Making of Haggis

Sep 7, 2017

Ah, Haggis…Great chieftain o' the puddin' race, and much misunderstood! - Robbie Burns

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, considered by many to be the national dish of Scotland thanks to Robert Burns' 1787 poem “Ode to a Haggis”.

Highland Games Sports, Dancing, and Music

Sep 7, 2017

Highland Games are a colorful, unique mix of sports, culture and community, a celebration not only of all things Celtic, but especially of Scottish Highlands’ heritage and history.

The Games are a mix of of field and track events, piping, and Highland dance competitions, as well as 'heavy events' like the tug-o-war, the hammer throw, and the caber-toss.  Some say that the Games date back to 2000 BC in Ireland, before they crossed the water to Scotland with the fourth and fifth century migrations of the Scotti into Argyll and beyond.

The Legacy of Dylan Thomas

Sep 7, 2017

Find out about the brilliant, talented, and charismatic poet, Dylan Thomas. Learn about the legacy of one of the most celebrated writers and poets of the 20th century.

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, is one the most beloved of Christmas traditions, and yet it was almost lost to us, rescued only by serendipity, luck and two plucky American women.

Celtic Traditional Dances

Sep 7, 2017

Learn about Scottish traditional dance, in all of its many forms.

It’s September, and that means that Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic is only a few weeks away.  We’ll spend September learning a wee bit more about some of what you’ll find at the Festival.

Naturally, there’ll be lots of glorious music…but there’ll be dancing, as well, much of it Scottish traditional dance, in all its many forms.

The Popularity of Scottish and Irish Whiskey

Sep 7, 2017

Whether you are a whiskey novice or a real connoisseur there is no better moment than now to celebrate Scotland’s national drink—as the tourism folks have officially deemed May whiskey month

Scottish Kilt History

Sep 7, 2017

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go

-- Robert Burns

Among the most powerful, romantic and dramatic of all the symbols of Scotland are the Highlanders tartans and kilt.  Today a kilt is often elegantly paired with formal jackets, crisp white shirts, and intricate footwear.

Ireland's Tricolour Flag

Sep 7, 2017

The national flag of Ireland is frequently referred to as the Irish tri-color. Beginning at the flag post, the colors are green, white, and orange. The Irish government has described the symbolism behind each color. Green represents the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, orange representing the followers of William of Orange in Ireland, and white representing the aspiration for peace between them.