celtic tattoos

Celtic Tattoos That Celebrate Heritage

The Celts are a collection of people that share a similar culture and language. They emerged in Central Europe thousands of years ago and spread from modern-day Turkey all the way to Ireland. Celtic languages are still spoken today across England, Ireland, Wales, and more locales in Western Europe. Celtic tattoos are a celebration of this shared culture that are based on traditional Celtic art.

Celtic tattoos are extremely popular today in the United States with folks tracing their heritage back to Celtic roots. These tattoos express a tribute to the ancestors. We wanted to get a better idea of the trends and types of Celtic tattoos people are getting today so we turned to social media to find the latest and greatest designs. Take a look at our findings below and get inspiration for your own Celtic ink.

Take a Look at These Amazing Celtic Tattoos for Ink Inspiration!

One Knotty Sleeve

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This person has taken the Celtic knot motif to the next level with a full-sleeve tattoo that stretches from wrist to shoulder. Find an artist who is versed in graphic design and you could walk away with something equally as stunning.

Another Knotted Sleeve

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Here’s another example of a sleeve that’s all about the knots. You will find many ancient motifs here that are popular among Celtic tattoos including a Celtic cross and a shield.

Trinity Knot

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One of the most popular Celtic tattoos that people get today is of the trinity knot. They represent a knot that can’t be untied and thus symbolize eternity, unity, love, and commitment.

Triskelion

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A Triskelion is an ancient symbol that the Celts adopted thousands of years ago. You will see more of this sort of design on this list of Celtic tattoos. Here, however, we find the symbol turned into a half-sleeve tattoo.

Celtic Triskele

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Here’s that same symbol but done in a more minimal style that’s truer to the recognizable symbol. This ancient design is so old and well-known that it can be found in many European cultures. It even can be found on the Sicilian flag today represented by three legs.

Tree of Life

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The tree of life is an ancient symbol of rebirth and eternity. We find a beautiful example in this Celtic tattoo that creates a circular motif through knots.

Celtic Cross

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After the trinity symbol, Celtic crosses are the second most popular type of Celtic tattoos. It’s simply a cross that has Celtic knots worked through it.

Celtic Cross Part II

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Here’s another example that’s been tattooed beautifully. White ink has been used as a highlight to make the knots appear 3D.

A Patchwork Knot

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Here’s a patch tattoo that looks just like an embroidered patch. It resembles a Celtic shield which was a popular object among the Celts as ceremonial objects as well as for battle purposes.

A Band

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Bands are also popular among Celtic tattoos. This simple knot one looks handsome and understated. Work with an artist with who you can collaborate well with and you could also have a Celtic band that looks this fresh.

Band Part II

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Here’s another example of a band that contains texture in the form of small dots and vertical lines. If you’re not into the bold, black “fill” of the previous design, perhaps something like this will be more your taste.

Delicate Triquetra

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Here’s another trinity symbol that’s been tattooed in a very thin, delicate line. Cute little, ornamental dots bring a touch of whimsy to the design and help it stand out from others like it.

A Symbol for Inner Strength

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Here’s a Celtic symbol that the person who shared it described as representing “inner strength.” It’s a gorgeous one that we imagine will appeal to many who want Celtic tattoos.

RELATED: 66 Celtic Last Names That Make Great First Names

A Shield

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Celtic shields are very popular designs that you will find in varying sizes. This rather large example contains a multitude of knots. As we mentioned earlier, these shields held sacred importance among ancient Celts which makes them very special tattoos.

Bold Will Hold

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Here’s another example of a shield that’s been completed with thick, black lines that really stand out. This tattoo looks fantastic with the forearm placement but we feel something similar could work just about anywhere.

Another Shield Knot

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Here’s a basic shield knot that the person who got it explained is a tribute to her father. Celtic tattoos are a special way to honor your family and its heritage.

Nuts for Knots

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Here’s a very sharp example that has been tattooed with the utmost care. As you’ve likely guessed, black ink is the most popular style for Celtic tattoos and the classic look feels timeless and sophisticated.

Mother-Daughter Love Knots

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We are huge fans of mother-daughter tattoos here at MU. In this example, we find a knot worked into a heart shape with the inclusion of floral elements which help sweeten the overall design.

Blue & Green

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While black ink might be the most popular option, you can chart your own path. We find a lovely green and blue “fill” here that proves evocative and charming.

Crisp & Clean Family Knot

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Here’s another Celtic knot tattoo that honors family. As you can likely see, it’s a symbol of fertility and parenthood with a larger figure connected to a smaller one.

Mother’s Celtic Knot

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Here’s another form of the same knot that the person who shared it described as a “Mother’s Celtic knot.” It’s such a beautiful symbol that pays tribute to the ties that bind families together.


Cernunnos

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The Celtic deity, Cernunnos was often depicted with horns and often seated cross-legged. In this tattoo, we find a portrait of the deity here. He is considered the master of the beasts.

A Fishhook

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Celtic hooks are a symbol of plenty, vitality, and good fortune. This gorgeous example finds one of the lesser-done Celtic motifs with lovely knotwork running through it.

A Knotted Wolf

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Celtic tattoos can be adapted in fresh ways for maximum self-expression. We find the common knotwork here worked into the shape of a wolf’s head. It presents with such a graphic quality and a touch of romance.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Tribal Tattoos from a Variety of Traditions with Powerful Meanings

Celtic Harp

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The Celtic harp is a unique instrument that was played among the ancient Celts and still remains popular to this very day. It is known as cláirseach in Irish, clàrsach in Scottish Gaelic, telenn in Breton, and telyn in Welsh. It makes for a dramatic and beautiful tattoo!

There you have it! We hope you feel inspired by these Celtic tattoos and will consider getting one yourself. If you want to celebrate your Irish heritage, there is no better way to do so than with ink. Express yourself with one of these timeless tattoos and you won’t live to regret it.

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