Today is Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas) the first of three harvest festivals celebrated in many modern Pagan traditions. Lughnasadh originated as one of the four main Celtic fire festivals and was dedicated to the Celtic god Lugh/Lugus the many-skilled (or, in the case of Ireland, Lugh’s foster-mother Tailtiu). It is a time of thanksgiving, first-harvests, and the end of summer.
Here are some quotes for the holiday.
“This late summer season, I give thanks for what I have that feeds me and the ways in which my life can help feed others. I also intend to practice walking the fine line between consolidating energy and attention, and letting go. Yes, I will show up. Will I deliver the fruits of my labor? Time will tell. There is always a harvest, whether or not it yields what we expected.” – T. Thorn Coyle, “Are You Harvesting What You Expected?”
“The Anglo-Saxons held their own feast of the opening of harvest upon 1 August, the ‘hlaef-mass’, or ‘loaf mass’, from which derived its medieval English and Scottish name of Lammas. As such it appears regularly in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, explicitly (in 921) as ‘the feast of first fruits’.” – Ronald Hutton, “The Stations of The Sun”
“How can we, separated from the agricultural process by city and century, appreciate the atmosphere of the season which surrounds us, but which we cannot see? What is the goddess of grain to us of the boulangerie? The patisserie? We who buy our grain in bags, in boxes, premixed, pre-measured, prepackaged, prepared, sown, grown, harvested, hulled, milled, by someone else, somewhere else. How can we identify with the earth values taught by terra mater during this time of year from where we are held captive in the synthetic heart of the genetically modified pop tart culture which claims us? Well, we can behave, as they say, as if we were born in August. We can, in fact, become August — wise and generous and gloriously noble, each on our own chosen paths. We can hone our skills as the tenders of mother earth. We can hoe our row. We can carry our load. We can break bread together. We can feed the hungry. We reap what we sow.” – Donna Henes, “Celebrating the Halfway Point of Summer”
“Since the main theme of the feast was the successful reaping of benefits from the Land by the Tribe, the communal enjoyment of first fruits was the high point of the day’s ritual. This would include both cultivated crops and wild-growing edible fruits, which were also made accessible for the Tribe’s use by Lugh’s intercession. Even if, because of weather conditions or circumstantial factors, the full harvest would not begin until later, it was absolutely necessary to gather and ceremonially consume a small portion of the crops on Lughnasadh.” – Alexi Kondratiev, “The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual”
“Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced on-lookers. The atmosphere must have been quite similar to our modern-day Renaissance festivals.” – Mike Nichols, “The Witches’ Sabbats”
May you have a fruitful holiday!