Galicia was settled by Celts before the 6th century B.C. During the period of Roman domination, the conventus iudicus of Gallaecia (an advisory body consisting on indigenous inhabitants and Romans who advised the governor on judicial matters) coincided exactly with Celtic territory; present-day Galicia was covered by the conventus of Lugo. As a result of the Barbarian invasions, the Suevian settled on the land until the Visigoth occupation under Leovigildus. Arab rule left hardly any traces in Galicia, which maintained its identity during the Reconquest as an independent Christian kingdom. The role played by Galicia in the history of medieval culture is extraordinary and it was a famous country throughout the entire Middle Ages owing to pilgrims’ road to Santiago de Compostela, main route of European Christian pilgrimage to the tomb of the apostle St. James.
Galicia is a county in the actual Spanish State with very dependent rule to the central government. Galicia was the first, the oldest independent kingdom of Europe. Its beginnings can be placed in the Old Kingdom of Galicia created by the Germanic people of the suave that in 409 came to the them roman province of Galleacia, ( were the Romans had convinced them to come , believing they will left quit the rest of the empire that they use to put to sack ). In two years they put out all that was left from the roman empire : people, administration, … and they unified the different Celtic tribes -the Galizian Tribes- to form the first kingdom of Europe, under Hermerico, making the beginning of the fall of the roman empire. Only in 410 the Germanic tribes take Roma.
In the high Middle age period and thereafter, the kingdom of Galicia stands alone. In times, royal heritages, kings and queens marriages, make two o more kingdom to fusion or change owners. But in all circumstances, Galicia has always conserved its own language costumes and differentiated culture. The inaccessibility , by land, of the West side of the Celto-iberian peninsula is the result of a natural mountain chain formation that isolated Galicia and also Portugal from Spain. In fact the Spanish-Portugal border is the oldest of Europe.
Galicia is the most forgotten of the seven Celtic countries. Even so, she has the most pure and oldest Celtic tradition, going back more that 2000 years, without any medieval influence The stone and water crazy Galicians only have equals in its Celtic brothers of Eire and Breizh. The similarities of tradition and costumes, between Galicians, Irish and Bretons … and this philosophy of life that characterized the Galizian people, the Celtic people, has nothing to do with the Spanish way of life, where Galicians are not part.
As the Galicians honor the old Celtic cult to the horse in the Galizian known “curros das bestas”, the Spaniards , from the North shores of the ‘Cantabrico’ sea till the pillars of Hercules in the south, feast the Iberian cult to the ‘Iberian bull’. The San Fermin, in the heart of the Basque country of Navarra , the ‘encierro’ , till the south “Spanish corridas” are the attachment of the Iberian people. When the Spaniards kill the beast, the bull, on the contrary, the Galizian take care of they own horses of the hole Nature to whom they have herded the love of the Celtic people. Two people , two cultures.
Even when they share the Celto-iberian peninsula, ( two sides , de Celtic Atlantic and Iberiam meseta North to South ) the culture of the west side and the North-West Galicia in particular, has an origin very different. The subtract people are goidelic Celts in the historical Galicia ( including North of Portugal ) with influence zone going back well south in today Portugal, the Iberians the rest of the peninsula. The natural frontier between what is Portugal and Spain, who is naturally prolonged to all the Galicia East side, is the most oldest frontier in all Europe.
Geography has helped to maintained , purest , the Celtic tradition of Galicia. They have the same Celtic spirituality as 20 centuries ago, today the names have changed, no more names of Celtic gods and goddesses , the names have today references only to the Christian fact, however it can be said that Galicians pursue yet now they druidic religion under Christian names, rock, waters, …are still holy. Living in this country, Galicia, living with this people, the Galicians, you could sense this Celtic feeling coming back from the times.
The name “galegs’ and “gaelics’ ,oldest “gaels” , have similarities that can be explained. On this point gaelic and ‘galeg’ ‘s – Galician – tradition count the same history, two thousands years apart, 450 miles directly north and south, the sons of Breogam sail to Eire, the green land, as the Galicians have named it, so the Irish book of the invasion said also. Add that, a Gaelic dictionary can be used to translated all the pre-roman Galicia’s place-names … you will found that the coincidences and similarities can easily be explain.
The above text was taken from http://www.umoncton.ca/soeler/celtic.htm