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.
“The First Harvest is a time to take stock of our fields; to survey all that has grown throughout this year. Some seeds planted took root, and others did not. Some soil was better prepared, and better tended to. But, it’s undeniable that there has been change, and that change came through our hard labor, our perseverance, and on occasion, an unexpected storm.” – Teo Bishop, Patheos.com
“Modern Wicca, which only began to be defined in the 1930s, also moves those old rhythms of moon and sun, summer and winter, into a meaningful connection with modern life. That’s what [Wiccan high priestess Carol] Kirk emphasizes during rituals where she presides. Kirk, who also has worked as a hospital chaplain, is studying for a master’s in pastoral counseling at Cherry Hill Seminary in South Carolina, one of the world’s first pagan seminaries. Lamas, for example, is the beginning of the harvest season – a time to consider what we want to gather from our lives, what we want to preserve and protect, what we want to celebrate.” – Kay Campbell, The Huntsville Times
“Throughout Britain, Lammastide was the time for paying up rents and other obligations. For the many people who did not own land or even work a plot, at Lammastide it was customary to bake special loaves, called “Lammas Bread”, and offer them to the landlord and to the parish vicar. There is good reason and much historical evidence to suggest that this tradition found its roots in Roman Britain, where the goddess Demeter and similar Celtic deities were given special offerings at – or around – the first day of August. Regardless of its exact origin, Lammas is a very old tradition in the British Isles which is continued in North America, and it remains a time of accounting – literal and figurative.” – In Puris Naturalibu
“Even though we know today that the days are not getting shorter since Midsummer/Litha because the sun is dying, Lammas is still a festival of honering sacrifice and harvest for me, because even though the sun’s not dying he’s still showering us with his strength and light every day. The grain and fruits are still nourished and strengthened by his generous offering. Whenever we eat something, it’s ultimately the life force of the sun made manifest in plant and animal that we are taking in. We ourselves run on solar power, because all energy of our food literally originates there!” – Gwydion Blackrose, Courting the Serpents
“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”
May you have a fruitful holiday!