What is the Difference Between a Barn Dance and a Ceilidh? A much debated topic with a choice of answers, often contradictory.  Take your pick...

A ceilidh is a lively, energetic event, with simple dances and loud music, popular with the young at heart.
A barn dance is a gentler event for more experienced dancers.

A ceilidh is for dancers who are not quite complete beginners - anyone who knows what ceilidh means is welcome to attend.
A barn dance is a folk dance for complete beginners.

Ceilidh is a gaelic word that simply means gathering.  In Ireland at any gathering, the music, song and dance goes without saying.  A ceilidh is not purely about dancing, but will include some other forms of entertainment such as singing.
A barn dance is just for the dancing

What other definitions have you come across? Let me know and I'll post them on this page.

See also:

What What is a Barn Dance or Ceilidh?
Tips Make your event a success - Hot Tips for Organisers