An Irish Céilí

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, it is high time for a Céilí dance!

This is an example from the Titanic (1997) when the Irish in the Third Class deck have a céilí party, and Kate Winslet’s character from the First Class joins in with much gusto and joy.

While this movie shows a relaxed Irish folk dancing, traditional Irish dancing is normally demonstrates a ‘stiff upper body, rapid leg movements and quick precise foot movements’² namely Stepdance.

For the accompanying music, the Irish Dance instruments that the band are playing here are Uillean pipes (like bagpipes but not blown into), folk fiddles (violins without vibrato), and a bodhran (a hand-held drum).¹ The clapping of hands are used for keeping the beat! The accordion is often played in these kind of jigs, but sadly not in this version.

As you can see, an Irish céilí is a perfect excuse for people to get together, dance, and have a lot of fun. This kind of dance often performed at social gatherings that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and other traditional holidays.

Come back in three days, where I will post about the history of St. Patrick’s Day for this blog’s Friday Feature!

¹ BBC, Traditional Irish Instruments, 'Irish Dance',, pg. 2, [Date accessed: 17 March 2015].
² Ibid, Irish Dance Steps.

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