Any neutral fan expecting a competitive match between first and third in the SPL was quickly disabused of such emotion within 12 minutes of kick-off.
By that time, Celtic were two ahead through Liam Miller and an own goal by Phil Stamp.
Further goals by Henrik Larsson and Stan Varga before half time meant that Celtic could relax in view of their more difficult trip to Brussels against Anderlecht on Tuesday on Champions League duty. However, Miller still had time to add to his tally early in the second half.
Hearts looked out of sorts from the start and Tepi Moilanen was happy to watch a Larsson effort hit the outside of the post. The anticipated opening goal duly arrived for Celtic when Moilanen could only push out Larsson's fierce drive to the onrushing Miller who shot high into the net.
The home team went two ahead when Stamp, trying to head John Hartson's flick out for a corner somehow managed to guide it low into the corner of his own net past a startled Moilanen.
The Hearts keeper then did well to touch over a powerful Miller shot before Bobo Balde and Stilian Petrov went close. Mark De Vries prodded his shot narrowly wide in a rare Hearts attack before Larsson's shot hit the sidenetting.
The Swedish striker then latched on to a Varga clearance before coolly sliding his shot under the keeper to put the home side further ahead, with the Hearts defence vainly claiming for offside.
Moilanen blocked bravely another Larsson effort at the edge of his box before Celtic made it four just before the break. This time, Varga rose unchallenged to head powerfully into the net from Alan Thompson's corner.
Hearts boss Craig Levein must have despaired at how deep his defence had been pushed back, allowing Celtic to pick holes in it at will.
It looked like more of the same shortly after the restart when Hartson headed back across goal substitute Shaun Maloney's cross for Miller to force the ball home from close range.
Maloney was then blatantly blocked by Alan Maybury in the penalty box, but referee Kenny Clark indicated he was unsighted. Moilanen then did well to block two late efforts from Larsson as the game petered out.