Celtic Nations: Edition #1
November 2013

Our 13th Niagara Celtic is behind us, and our 14th festival is a long ways off. So what better time to introduce our first Newsletter Series: 7 Nations in 7 Months! From now through May, we'll be exploring a little about the history and heritage of each nation. And you can be sure that before we're done, we'll also discuss just how many nations there really are and why.

Our journey begins in Brittany, a beautiful and perfect land desired by all, claimed by many, and ruled by nature.

Vicki Banks
Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival
Playing for Power
The Evolution of Brittany's Name and Natives
Brittany's location, surrounded by water and hosting ports between Europe and the British Isles, has always made it coveted property. Much of its history comes from countless feuds and battles, all from those seeking their claim. Our earliest recorded history of Brittany comes from the invading Celts in 5th century BC. Although back then, the area was known as Armorica ('place of the sea'), and later Letauia.

The Celtic tribes were defeated by the Romans' expanding Empire in 51 BC. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the peninsula would again be settled by new Celts. Known as Britons coming from Britannia (later Britain), they would adopt the name for their new home, and later Brittany, or  "Little Britain."

Over hundreds of years, Brittany would continue as valuable land and seaports, ruled by kingdoms and then a duchy (medieval feudal state). In 1532 it would become a province, united into the Kingdom of France where it remains to this day.

Torn between the very different French and Celts, modern-day Bretons are proud to be a part of both worlds. Ancient history and magic surround them from traditions, relics and records. And it continues to be a popular destination, albeit for tourists rather than conquerors.
Ancient Mysteries
The Legendary Structures of Brittany
Brittany has had inhabitants for nearly 2.5 million years! Little is known about those living here prior to the Celts settling, creating mystery and myths surrounding the relics left behind.

The peninsula's breathtaking scenery were likely reasons for neanderthals remaining during the paleolithic age. Nomads would become farmers, who would eventually blend with the arriving Celts to create five Celtic tribes.

The many generations of people living here made the land an immense holy place, who worshiped the sun and surrounding ocean, and laid their dead in great burial chambers. Imposing temples and formidable tombs of stone still exist, built seven millennium ago...predating the Pyramids of Egypt by over 2,000 years. These structures, or Megaliths, are located all over Brittany and many exceed three hundred tons. Their meaning, purpose and how they were crafted remain mysteries lost with time. This includes the area's many Menhirs (standing stones), like the one pictured above.

Descendants of these great builders would use the same skills to create elaborate castles, statues and places of worship all over Brittany. Pictured left is just one example: The Parish Close of Guimiliau Commune, every inch designed with complex details and vividly carved stories.

Even if very little has survived from those early centuries of Brittany, the deeply ingrained culture combined with what remains has left remarkable imprints on our imaginations.
A Land Of The Ocean
Surrounded by 1700 Miles of Coastline
No matter where one is in Brittany, the ocean is present. The ocean climate, tempered by the Gulf Stream, makes for mild winters, early springs and pleasant summers. This also allows for a rich variety of wildlife; thousands of varieties of plants, bugs, birds, mammals and more can be found. Add all the canals, creeks and rivers, Brittany is a breathtaking view with water, no matter where you are.

Anyone living here early on would have quickly discovered that, not unlike anywhere else, weather and nature make the rules. Which means living with iodine-filled sea air and working a land made of the hardest rocks (granite, gneiss, sandstone, shale). Mountains and cliffs have served as protection to the gentler inland areas, while hindering those wanting to easily cross the seas.

Nature has been a major player in many battles/ historical moments in Brittany, especially from the English Channel and surrounding cliffs. This includes the tales of King Arthur's adventures, the love story of Tristan and Isolde, and the tragic sinking of the great city of Ys.
Who's Who: Asterix is a Breton!
Created in 1959, The Adventures of Asterix is a world-renowned comic series following unconquerable Gauls (Celts) resisting Roman occupation around 50 BC Armorica (present-day Brittany). Asterix is the diminutive but fearless warrior, and strong-but-dim Obelix is his best friend. This famous duo is the focus of comics, novels, movies, games, toys, food and even a theme park! If you don't know this awesome duo, it's time! Grab some of their books for the holidays, Click Here to visit their website.
Getaway to Brittany
A Celtic Vacation Like No Other
To feel like you are in England and France at the same time...that is the adventure you'll discover in Brittany. Breathtaking shorelines, historical tours, delicious cuisine, amazing art and artisans, and so much more can be found. A tour here is an amazing opportunity to spend time with stories of our past.

But above all else, Brittany is perfect for those who love nature and sports. No matter where you are in the peninsula you'll have access to Mountain biking and cycling, sailing, hiking, horse riding, nature trails, plenty of water sports and so much more. It's an absolute paradise waiting for you! To learn more, visit: www.brittanytourism.com
Coming Next Month 
Christmas and Cornwall
Our trip through the Celtic Nations will take us to a land of sea and surf: Cornwall. Plus, it's time to celebrate the holidays in so many ways!
In This Issue
Playing for Power
Ancient Mysteries
A Land Of The Ocean
Sending Love to Asterix
Discover Brittany
Upcoming Performances
Colm Wilkinson LIVE
New Year's Celebration!
Jan. 2014: Burns Supper
Follow the Ale Trail
Upcoming Performance

Oct. 25th-Nov. 17th

Play: The Little Foxes

Irish Classical Theatre
625 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14203
Box Office 716-853-1380
Upcoming Performances
Poor Ould Goat
November 23rd at 8pm

Reardon & Garvey
November 29th at 8pm

245 Abbott Rd
Buffalo, NY 14220
Upcoming Performance
Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo
103 Center for the Arts
Buffalo, NY 14260
Order Tickets: $59, $49, $42

Enjoy an evening with famous Irish Tenor, Colm Wilkinson! He originated the classic roles of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" and the Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera." His new tour gives fans an opportunity to see and hear a more intimate and personal side of this engaging phenomenal performer.
New Year's Eve
December 31st
Doors Open at 6:30pm    Buffalo Irish Center
245 Abbott Rd.
Buffalo, NY 14220

$5 admission includes hats, noisemakers and champagne toast; kitchen will be open.
Shop for the Holidays!
There's still plenty of time to have souvenirs shipped to you for the holidays! Consider purchasing one of the amazing items in our store. All the proceeds go towards future festivals.
Upcoming Event
robert burns
Wilson House Restaurant & Inn
300 Lake St. Wilson, NY 14172
Tickets: $30pp, limited seats, Call 716-751-9888

buffalo irish times

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Celtic Ale Trail
Follow the growing Niagara Celtic Ale Trail and you'll find wonderful pubs, bars, restaurants and breweries! Enjoy entertainment, drinks and food whose heritage comes from the Celtic Nations.

November Feature:
392 Ohio St.
Lockport, NY 14094
Black Willow Winery RHCPipers D & T GraphicsCaronia Media GroupScottish Store Online A-verdi
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