Celts? Where and when did they rule?

Long before the arrival of the Romans, the Celts occupied a large part of Northern Europe, They were a diverse group of people with largely different identities so again different versions of legends and myths can be found throughout the Celtic area.

Stories and tales were a way of passing the long, dark nights and often contained magic or super human beings. The tale of the Coming of Lugh is one such story.

A Celtic Round House
Credit: Clive Perrin [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Coming of Lugh

A great feast was taking place in honour of Nuada, the one handed leader of the Tuarrtha De- Danann tribe. A young man appeared at the door of the feasting room and asked for admittance. He said he was the son of Cian a warrior of Nuada's tribe and that he had come to help the leader in the coming battle between theTuartha De-Danann and their enemies the Famarians.

Despite being of their tribe, the door keeper would not let Lugh into the feast. The door keeper asked him what his trade was as no one could be admitted to the feast that did not have a trade.Lugh tried a number of trades, carpenter, smith, champion, harpist, warrior, poet,historian, magician and finally a metal worker. However as he mentioned each trade the door keeper replied that there was already someone doing this trade and therefore he could not be allowed into the feast.

In a bid to gain entrance Lugh asked the door keeper to ask Nuada if there was anyone at the feast who had all the skills that the door keeper had isted., Lugh told the door keeper that he possessed all of these skills and if there was a man as talented as he was then he would go away and not bother him again.

Lugh is put to the test

Nuada was intrigued about a man who said he had so many skills. At that time it took a long apprenticeship to acquire just one skill and it was impossible for a man to be proficient in so many skills, especially a man who appeared to be quite young.  Nuada decided to see how Lugh would react when playing chess against the communities best chess player, Still not letting Lugh in, the chess set was taken to the door and Lugh played chess with the champion, winning convincingly. Lugh was at last let in the door and was brought in front of King Nuada where he was given another task. The King's champion hurled a heavy stone out of the castle and the KIng demanded that Lugh go to where it landed and try and throw it back into the castle. Lugh was at a disadvantage as he had to throw uphill whilst the champion had thrown downhill. Lugh now only managed to pick the stone up and throw it but he ensured that it landed exactly where it had been lying before it was thrown. The King was astonished and realised that Lugh was better able to lead his troops into battle and gave him his crown to wear in the attack against the Famorians, which they won!