Lughnasadh (a.k.a. Lammas, First Harvest, August Eve, et cetera)

(August 1, in some traditions August 2)

Lughnasadh is a Pagan Sabbat: a holiday celebrated by Wiccans, Witches and many others whose religions fall under the umbrella of Earth spirituality and Paganism. It is the first main harvest.


Lughnasadh lore:

The God begins to die, and the Goddess is sad but joyful because She is pregnant. On Yule She will give birth to Him again, but until then She must endure His gradual decline and then be separated from Him through the Samhain season. Both deities are still very powerful but the Sun's power is waning.


Lughnasadh sentiments:

The focus of this holiday is thanks for the blessings and remembrance, and reflection. Some of what came to fruition on Litha is now harvested (though this is only the first harvest; the second is Mabon). We give thanks for the sacrifices that were made for us to continue eating, such as the plants and animals that might have been consumed. Fruit and grain are generally harvested at this time. There is a remembrance that we are all reborn through recycling. Relaxation and being at one with Nature are also themes of the Lughnasadh season.


Lughnasadh practices:

On Lughnasadh, we give thanks. Seeds from fruit are ceremoniously given back to the Earth to keep the cycle going. Some people like to make sand candles and bake bread. Another popular activity is using black thread and a needle to make necklaces out of Indian corn. Food is shared at the Lughnasadh meal. Also, some people like to visit natural places such as lakes and fields. Meditation and thanksgiving are popular activities for Lughnasadh; the acceptance of what has been brought about through the effort of the year is the subject of the meditations.


The Lughnasadh season:

Some Lughnasadh Recipes:

Check out other Sabbats:

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Lughnasadh: LOO-ne-sah (thanks ryano for the pronunciation)

1. August in the Irish and Scottish calendar, sometimes spelled Lunasa after the language reforms of the early twentieth century.

2. August 1. Irish feast day of Lugh, supposedly established by Lugh after he defeated the Fomorians. According to the "Second Battle of Magh Turedh" in the Book of Invasions, Lugh established this holiday in honor of his foster mother Tailtiu, an earth goddess. It was celebrated with athletic competition (much like the Olympics) and was the first harvest. This is likely tied to Lugh wrestling the secrets of agriculture from Bres, as shown in 2MT.

As Tailtiu was an earth goddess, this is the first harvest festival of the Celts, the second being Samhain. In later times, this was Christianized as Lammas--"Loaf Mass," celebrating the Eucharist--in the Saxon areas. As there is no record of a Germanic festival occuring at August 1, both Maire MacNeill and Roland Hutton believe that the origin of Lammas would be a Celtic festival held around August 1--in Irish this is Lughnassadh.

There were other names and traditions for the holiday, celebrated on or around August 1; these included Crom Dubh Sunday (when Patrick battled the demon Crom Dubh), Garland Sunday, and in Old Irish, Bron Trogain--"the labor pains of the earth", refering to harvest.

SOURCES
Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain.

MacNeill, Maire. The Festival of Lughnasa. OUP, 1962.

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