The Celtic Influence in Galicia

While Scotland and Ireland are most commonly associated with the Celtic people, the roots of the culture are spread throughout Europe. More than a millennium ago, a Celtic tribe known as the Gallaeci settled in an area north of the Douro River. The region became modern day Galicia, which is in northwest Spain and is today considered the seventh of the original Celtic nations, along with Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Mann, Brittany, Scotland and Wales.

The evidence is everywhere, from the Galician language – which contains a significant amount of words of Celtic origin and is spoken by more than three million people – to the pagan festivals and rituals that continue to flourish in the region. The pallozas, or round stone hutsceltic-houses, date back 2,500 years and are believed to be of Celtic origin.

Attend any festival in Galicia and you will witness a sight very different to that of southern Spain. In fact you could well be excused for thinking you were in Scotland. Firstly you will hear the bagpipes or "galleta galleo" and this will be followed by the appearance of the pipers in outfits not un-similar to that of their counterparts in Britain's Celtic strongholds. Listen to the music and watch the dancing and still more similarities start to appear - and these are unique to Galicia, no where else in Spain has similar rituals.

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