The Celtic Way is the scene where the club’s triumphs and tragedies have come to be expressed. Whether it is protest in moments of turbulence or pyrotechnics in moments of triumph, it is where Celtic fans gather in their thousands and pour out their emotions towards their club.

This week, it has been a scene of unbridled joy and celebration. A Premiership title, one that at times this season looked far from a foregone conclusion, has been delivered.

Brendan Rodgers told those fans who were wary of his re-appointment last summer that he would see them back on that Celtic Way come May, but it was hard to see anything much at all as the team made their way towards the stadium.

Thick green plumes covered the walkway to the Celtic Park Main Stand, but once the smoke cleared, there was the outline of Joe Hart emerging with the Premiership trophy held aloft in one hand, captain Callum McGregor deferring the honour to the 37-year-old keeper ahead of his last game at Celtic Park before retirement.

It was a rather neat metaphor for Celtic’s season. At times, Rodgers and his men looked lost in a fog that was sometimes of their own making, and was often influenced by factors outside of their control.

There were murmurings over the transfer strategy, and to use Rodgers’ own word of the season, the ‘quality’ of the signings being targeted. There were injuries to key men, with McGregor, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Reo Hatate all spending significant time out, leading to some underwhelming performances.

There was the League Cup exit at Kilmarnock, Rodgers’ first domestic cup defeat as Celtic manager. There was another forgettable European campaign, with some improved showings in the Champions League, in fairness, but some disappointing defeats too.

There was another ban for the Green Brigade, and there was a narrative that ‘Rangers were coming’, first under Michael Beale and then Philippe Clement, that irked Rodgers.

There were controversies away from football, some that Rodgers branded ‘tedious’ during the week. They were a distraction, nonetheless.

There were points dropped at home with unusual frequency, and the booing of Santa in late December. There was a moment in February when Celtic found themselves two points behind their city rivals with the same number of games played.

But there was the defiant win at Ibrox in September when Celtic travelled there without fans, without many of their star men, and seemingly without a hope. There were three league wins and a draw against Rangers overall.

There was character in abundance, and crucial late wins pulled out of the fire at Fir Park (twice) and Easter Road.

There was Matt O’Riley. A fine season from Liam Scales, out of nowhere. There was the addition of Adam Idah, and the new dimension he brought to the Celtic attack.

There was the incredible renaissance of James Forrest. The return of Carter-Vickers, McGregor, Hatate and Daizen Maeda at just the right time to help Celtic reach for the line.

And eventually, there was the return of the free-flowing attacking football we expect from a Rodgers team as they heeded their manager’s promptings to sprint over it.

Don’t worry, be happy, the Celtic fans sang. Which is easy to say now. But happy they certainly are, and a huge Tifo unveiled in tribute to Hart mimicked his earlier stance outside the ground, as they thanks the outgoing keeper for his distinguished service.

Now, before he bows out, there is also a Scottish Cup final against Rangers to look forward to next Saturday.

With an eye to that game, Rodgers gave some of his heavy hitters the trophy day off, with those on the fringes like Anthony Ralston, Stephen Welsh, Maik Nawrocki, Luis Palma and Nicolas Kuhn handed a chance to stake a late claim for the Hampden showpiece.

None of them really did, but in fairness to St Mirren, they didn’t deserve to simply be a footnote to Celtic’s big day after a fine season of their own, and they were determined not to be.

Twice they hit the front in the first half, both times through captain Mark O’Hara, who pounced on some dozy home defending to slam home the opener before a rasping half volley from O’Riley brought Celtic on terms.

Welsh then misjudged a fine ball up the line from Scott Tanser to allow Toyosi Olusanya in on goal, the defender bundling him to the ground clumsily as he desperately tried to atone and succeeded only in conceding a spot kick.

There was no fairytale penalty save for Hart, with O’Hara expertly placing it out of reach of his grasp.

A wonderful run down the right and cross from Hatate though allowed Kyogo to slam Celtic level once more, but the scoresheet wasn’t troubled again until the dying moments as a brilliant piece of football between Paulo Bernardo and O’Riley allowed Ralston to pick out Palma at the back post to tap home the winner.

There was a touching moment as McGregor took his leave and passed the armband to Hart, and then the stadium rose as one to acclaim the former England number one as he too was replaced in order to allow the Celtic fans to pay a fulsome tribute.

It was the end of what had been a rather chaotic, error-strewn, and at times hugely emotional afternoon, interspersed with moments of real quality, with Celtic emerging victorious. In other words, it was all rather fitting. 

The fans are even back on the nice list, giving Santa a wonderful reception as he brought out the trophy.

Once the smoke had cleared, Celtic were champions. Again.