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Celt, Galicia, History

Six or Seven: How Many Celtic Nations Are There?

414The established six Celtic Nations are Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Mann, Brittany, Scotland and Wales. However for centuries Celts spread beyond Northern Europe, with many countries today claiming some Celtic influence. Yet only one place truly considers themselves ‘one’ with their Celtic heritage: Galicia, Spain. It’s an area heavily influenced by Celtic culture, particularly the ancient region of Gallaecia (the modern region of Galicia and Braga, Viana do Castelo, Douro, Porto, and Bragança in Portugal) and the Asturian region (Asturias, León, Zamora in Spain).

While many in this region of Spain consider themselves Celts, there are plenty around the world that contest this. No Celtic language survived here (after the extinction of Iberian Celtic languages in Roman times), which is considered the litmus test. The area also holds a vary small minority of Celts when compared to even the smallest of the six nations. But it’s hard to focus on these, knowing how music, dance, art, history and folklore from Galicia often compares to other Celtic nations, Brittany especially (as like Galicia it remains a part of a another country and not located with the northern islands).

Largely, people consider there to be only six official nations, yet there will always remain those who say there are seven. What’s your opinion? Feel free to share your thoughts.

What’s our opinion? Here at Niagara Celtic, we remain invested in sharing and appreciating every aspect of Celtic Culture. This includes Celts from around the world who have shaped their own identities and culture from past influences, no matter their location. We’re Celtic-American-New Yorkers, and as such can identify with those in Galicia who feel as strongly about their own heritage. This is why we honor them as the 7th nation. And while you may not agree, you can still learn more about Galicia, please read our next blog entry!

About niagaraceltic

Since 2001, Niagara Celtic has hosted an annual Celtic Festival in Western New York to honor the history and heritage of everyone with Irish, Scottish and Welsh history, along with the other Celtic Nations. Our presence has expanded online to become a year-round way to connect with the worldwide Celtic Community.


5 thoughts on “Six or Seven: How Many Celtic Nations Are There?

  1. Interesting to know that DNA studies from Oxford university have concluded that the DNA of the British population is closest to that of Northern Spain yet they are too proud to include Galicia as a Celtic nation even though it has been known for ages that that’s where the Celtic migration to the British Isles originated from. However some people from the British Isles like to think as themselves as a pure genetic group with no other European links. History and genetics have a different story to tell not based on personal opinions. Languages may come and go, DNA is a different story.

    Posted by Carl Gabriel | July 26, 2017, 2:10 am
  2. What about Asturias?, it´s not considered as a Celtic Nations?
    Because its the same case as Galicia.

    Posted by Rodrigo Méndez | December 7, 2018, 12:09 am
    • The Asturian region is mentioned in the article, it is grouped with Galicia as regions with Celtic ancestry

      Posted by niagaraceltic | December 7, 2018, 6:23 am
      • Hi, first of all thank you for your answer.
        Speaking about the mention, I saw it, but i would like to know if Asturias is considered as the 8th celtic Nation.
        I have this doubt because it’s not usually mentioned as a celtic nation,but the Galician region does.
        Also the Asturian appearance in the interceltic festival of Lorient rises my doubts and also makes my curious about how the celtic community considers it.
        Looking foward to see your answer.

        Posted by Rodrigo Méndez | December 13, 2018, 5:19 pm
      • All Spanish territories are considered the debatable “7th” nation. Galicia is the more prominent of the Spanish Celtic territories, which is why it’s mentioned the most.

        Posted by niagaraceltic | December 19, 2018, 9:23 am

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