Intro: The Irish celtic cross is a commonly known symbol in traditional Irish art. Its image shows up in cemeteries around Ireland and America. It also finds favor as a design for Celtic cross necklaces due to its asymmetrical beauty, deep symbolism and strong ties to St. Patrick himself.
Celtic Symbols: The Funerary Cross
The Celtic cross design features a Christian cross that is encircled by a ring. This traditional Irish art design often features a crisscross design of the Celtic knot.
It's part of the high cross tradition in Christian funerary art, particularly in Britain and Ireland.
The History of the Celtic Cross
Irish legend has it that St. Patrick brought the symbolism of the Celtic cross to Ireland, possibly in an effort to encourage the pagan sun worshippers to embrace Christianity.
It's part of the insular art movement in Irish art history and has been synonymous with monastic life in Ireland.
Stylistically, it's easy to see the relationship between illustrated manuscript art as seen in the "Book of Kells" and the Celtic cross. The same ornate patterns are apparent in both.
Learn more about the Celts and their culture by watching the video that's accompanies this article.
Read More About the Meaning of the Celtic Cross and Its History