Celtic tattoos are inspired by the traditional art of the Celtic people who inhabited western Europe. The Celtic style of energetic circular forms, knots, spirals, and triskeles has a timeless appeal that lends itself very well to tattoo art. Celtic tattoo designs probably owe some of their popularity because they can be excellent ‘space fillers.’ A talented artist can create an interlocking Celtic tattoo design to cover the required amount of space. They can also be a very effective way to link other tattoos together or frame them.
People often get Celtic tattoos to express their patriotism and individuality who consider themselves Celts or Celtic origin. Most commonly, people from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and occasionally England.
Types of Celtic Tattoos
A Celtic cross tattoo design displays a Christian cross with a circle around the intersection. The cross is often decorated with Intricate knots. According to legend, St Patrick invented the Celtic cross as a combination of the Christian cross and the sun to convert the pagan Irish.
Also known as a mystic knot and endless knot – the lines of the knot form an infinite loop without beginning or end. Celtic knot tattoo designs most likely signify eternity. One type of Celtic knot is a Celtic love knot, which symbolizes two people in love.
Celtic Tree of Life Tattoos. The Celtic Tree of Life first appeared in the Book of Kells in 800AD. It symbolizes the Garden of Eden.
Celtic Tattoos for Men
Most Celtic tattoo designs have a profound hidden message to them and rich in folklore and history. They are not just dark lines in patterns. Because of their symbolic nature and intricate artwork, they are trendy among men.
Celtic Symbols Tattoos
Symbols that feature in Celtic tattoo designs include many things, such as Animals, Crosses, Dragons, Knots, Triskeles, and Warriors.
Celtic Tattoo design for Women
Many women choose a Celtic tattoo design as they look graceful.
History of Celtic Tattoos
Celtic tattoos are not so much based upon tattoos worn by the ancient Celtic people, as they are based upon a style derived from their art. Archaeologists consider Iron Age Europe to have been ‘Celtic’ from 1000BC until the rise of the Roman Empire. The Celts were tribal people and great warriors. The Celts’ popular image is of fearsome warriors who rode chariots and collected the heads of their enemies. On the other hand, the Celts also loved music and poetry and numbered many bards. They also wore ornate jewelry, such as elaborately decorated Gold Torques. Modern Celt tattoo designs incorporate all these elements.
However, the actual ‘Celtic’ art considered today, was the Early Medieval art of Britain and Ireland, which is also known as Insular art. Most likely, insular art originated in Irish monasteries around 600AD, as a fusion of earlier Celtic and Anglo-Saxon styles. It illuminated manuscripts and metalwork and carvings in stone.
In England, Insular art was replaced by a wholly Anglo-Saxon style around 900AD, while it continued in Ireland until 1200AD. Therefore the modern Celtic style – which for many people conjures up images of hordes of painted, pagan tribesmen battling against Roman legions – was invented much later by peaceful Christian monks to decorate their holy books!
Many countries experienced a great Celtic revival in the 19th and 20th centuries. During this time, anything Celtic, including the Insular style derived from the older Celtic art, became very popular again. This was particularly strong in Ireland, where many sought to establish their own identity and further distance themselves from Great Britain.
Celtic tattoos are incredibly versatile. Therefore you can have a distinctive Celtic tattoo design placed pretty much anywhere on the body. Celtic tattoo designs also make perfect space fillers. Celtic tattoos are usually rendered in black, which can look very effective against paler skin. However, it is possible to have a great looking Celtic tattoo done in any color.
Great places to put Celtic Tattoos
- back tattoos
Celebrities with Celtic Tattoos
Singer Robbie Williams has a Celtic cross tattoo design on his right hip.
Singer Mel C has a Celtic band tattoo design.
Actress Eva Longoria has a Celtic cross design on her lower back.
Lead Singer of Depeche Mode, David Gahan, has a Celtic cross tattoo design on his left arm.