Lughnasadh, Lammas, the First of our Three Harvest Festivals
Welcome summer and Lughnasadh! Our gardens are full of aromatic herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Lush fields of grain and mustard greens are in abundance almost anywhere you go. Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-nas-sa), also known as Lammas, marks the returning of autumn. As the days begin to shorten, we celebrate the “first fruits” as mother earth is full with a ripening harvest. Traditionally, this is the time that we begin gathering the first harvests of grain, wheat and berries. Here we are beginning to harvest fresh herbs, sage, lavender, flowers, apples and grapes. Have you ever heard of Gravenstein Apples? Thats us. We are up here in Northern California where every year we celebrate the Gravenstein Apple Festival. This is one of many traditional festivals celebrating the first harvest.
The first of three pagan harvest festivals, Lughnasadh is celebrated August 1st this year. Mabon is the second harvest and Samhain the third. At this time we honor our ancestors and the hard work they endured in order to survive. At Lughnasadh (Lammas) we give thanks for the abundance and blessings that surround us. It is a time of transformation, rebirth and new beginnings and is a good time for abundance and fertility rituals.
In essence, Lughnasadh/Lammas is a celebration of the first harvest. The Celtic Sun God Lugh, is represented as the male aspect. The Mother Goddess, Grain Mother, Earth Mother, the female aspect. The light and heat from Lugh, the Sun God, impregnating (fertilizing) the Earth Mother, we give thanks to the God and Goddess for our bountiful blessings.
Lughnasadh and Altar Space Decor:
One centuries old tradition is the making of the Corn Dolly. The Corn Dolly is placed on the altar representing the Mother Goddess who presides over the harvest. The Dolly can then be utilized as an offering and given back to the earth either at Imbolc or at Samhain, as she contains the seeds of future harvests.
Colors of Lughnasadh include red, orange, gold, deep ambers and green.
Gemstones of Lughnasadh include fiery gemstones like Carnelian and Tiger Eye, stones of abundance like Aventurine, Citrine and Lodestones. Also Black Obsidian, Crystal Quartz and Agates.
Some things I use are stalks of wheat, apples, red and orange candles. Because flowers are in abundance, sunflowers, calendulas, white and yellow roses. I tend to not clutter my altar at this time of year. Its more about really clearing and “taking stock”.
Loaves of bread are traditionally made at Lughnasadh. Representative of the Sun God Lugh, the male aspect. In Anglo-Saxon England, the Lammas bread was broken into four sections and placed in the corners of barns which served to protect the stored grain. This ritual can also be done in the home or your place of business during Lammastide.
Lughnasadh is the time we honor the Celtic Sun God Lugh. The master of arts and crafts. Get outside and attend local harvest festivals and art fairs! They are everywhere during the summer. August is the month you’ll always find fun festivals and fairs to attend. And don’t forget to embrace your creativity!
However you decide to celebrate and honor the first harvest, may your cupboards be filled with abundant blessings, your heart filled with peace, love and gratitude.