The wheel is turning and as it does the days are growing shorter. Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, makes up one of four Celtic cross-quarter festivals. This is the first harvest of the year, the day in which we recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end and celebrate the fruits of our labors and give thanks to the sun God who gave life to our fields.
HISTORY AND LORE
Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, makes up one of four Celtic cross-quarter festivals. This is the first harvest of the year, the day in which we recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end.
Grains are ready to be harvested and the fruits are ripe for picking, soon the vegetation will wither and the dark times will come – we are moving from the life part of the cycle into death. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer. We give thanks for all that we have received so far in the year.
Lughnasadh is the sabat where our ancestors took part in the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, and son of the Sun. In the story of the Wheel of the Year, it is at this time that the God transfers his power into the grain, and is sacrificed when the grain is harvested.
Lughnasadh was adopted by early Christians/Saxons who began to call the harvest funeral games ‘Lammas ‘ which means ‘loaf-mass’. They called it this because at this time they’d bake loaves of bread from the final harvest to place on the atlars in their church.
Today we celebrate Lammas as a festival celebrating the fruits of our labor, where we see the intentions that we had at the start of the year beginning to unfold so rituals will be centred around this.
RITUAL AND OBSERVATION
There are many different ways to celebrate Lughnasadh!
- Save and plant the seeds from the fruits and vegetables harvested.
- Make corn dollies.
- Take a walk through nature and reflect on the stories and lore behind this sabat.
- Host a party with your friends and loved ones where you eat outside and enjoy the final days of the sun.
- Have a bonfire!
- Creating and or decorating ritual items such as a Stang.
- Bake fresh bread or other pastries.
- Craft a wicker man to put all of your bad habits that you want to be rid of inside and throw him in the bonfire.
SYMBOLS: Corn, grains, scythe, sickle, the hearth or cauldron
GODDESSES: Cerridwen, Isis, Gaia, Ceres, Danu, Demeter, all harvest Goddesses
GODS: Lugh, Cronus, Neper, Saturn, Pan, Apollo all harvest/sun Gods
INCENSE: Sage, Basil, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Frankincense
CANDLES: Orange, gold, brown, yellow, deep greens
TOOLS: Baskets, cornucopia, sythe, harvest tools
PLANTS: Corn, grains of all kinds, sunflowers, grapes, crab apples, berries, queen annes lace, hops, barley, fresh herbs
STONE: Citrine, tigers eye, topaz, moss agate, quartz
ALTAR DECORATIONS: Corn, grain bundles, sunflowers, corn dollies, candles, apples, pears. Use whatever is in season where you live.
FOOD: Breads, pies, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, honey, corn, potatoes, roasted meats.
sources: plentifulearth.com, thewhitegoddess.co.uk, cronescottage2002.tripod.com and various books/history/otherwise.