An annual Christmas Tradition that encompasses stories and songs from each of the seven Celtic Nations, featuring Danny O’Flaherty
“In the two presentations of Celtic Christmas that Danny O’Flaherty has brought to us at Loyola, we have been blessed by its depth of soul and exquisite artistry. The beautifully haunting melodies, delightful poetry, and enchanting stories transported us across time and space to the hearth of our hearts. It was truly a spiritual experience of beauty and joy.” – Barbara Fleischer. Ph.D., Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
Danny O’Flaherty: An Irish Christmas Carol
Bring the Spirit of Christmas to Your Venue
More about Celtic Christmas
In the summer of 1990, Danny O’Flaherty met with Welsh harpist, Robin James-Jones, to discuss the feasibility of creating a Christmas program that encompassed customs, stories and songs from each of the seven Celtic nations: Eire (Ireland), Alba (Scotland), Cymru (Wales), Kernow (Cornwall), Breizh (Brittany), Mannin (The Isle of Man), and Gallaecia (Galicia). Within these Celtic communities, the yuletide season was a time for families to gather as did their ancestors, the clansmen and women throughout the centuries. Danny and Robin knew it would be an enormous undertaking because nothing like it had ever before been attempted, but it was a labor of love and conscience for both men.
As Christianity spread across the western world, it absorbed many existing “pagan” practices by linking the festivities of the winter solstice with the advent of the nativity. While each of the Celtic countries incorporated the Druid’s respect for fire and sacred evergreens into their Christmas landscape, and revelry and good spirits were widespread, each of the Celtic nations developed their own distinct traditions: The Irish and the Manx hunted the Wren; the Welsh followed the Grey Mare; the Cornish had a Kissing Bush; the Britons anticipated the arrival of the infant Jesus down the chimney; and the Scots awaited the First Footer (New Year) to determine their fortunes.
Hours of exhaustive research went into the project, and by December 1990, Danny and Robin had put together a beautiful and entertaining program. The ultimate goal for the development of the Celtic Christmas program was to honor the traditions and to encourage the celebrations for present and future generations. Nervous and excited, they premiered the Celtic Christmas program to delighted audiences and rave reviews.
Three years later, in 1993, a half-hour version of the show premiered on the PBS affiliate WLAE-TV in New Orleans and was soon picked up by other PBS affiliates around the country. In 2004, the Celtic Christmas was televised by Louisiana Public Broadcasting at McNeese University in Lake Charles.
Danny O’Flaherty’s Celtic Christmas does indeed capture the essence of all the treasured Celtic yuletide customs. Past performances included local musicians and actors. Today, Danny is pleased to present a one-man-show, featuring a one-of-a-kind performance.
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