Lughnasadh is here which means it's the official beginning of the harvest season! It's a time when corn is ready to be cut and berries are ripe for the picking.
What is Lughnasadh?
Lughnasadh, or Lammas, marks the midpoint between the summer solstice and fall equinox. It is the final four of the Celtic fire festivals. The name Lughnasadh means "an assemby (nasad) of Lugh (Lugh)," a Celtic god who represents the sun and noble qualities. It marks the official start of the harvest season, and is the first of three harvest festivals (followed by Mabon and Samhain).
Lammas and Lughnasadh are often used interchangeably, however, Lammas is a Christianized version of Lughnasadh that began in England. The name comes from the Anglicized "hlaf-mass," meaning "loaf mass" and is a celebration of the "first fruits" in Holy Communion.
History + Folklore
The celebration of Lughnasadh is said to have been started by the Celtic god Lugh as a way to honor his mother, Tailtiu, who sacrificed herself in order for the agriculture of Ireland to thrive. Traditional Lughnasadh celebrations include a funerary feast and ritual athletic competitions. Lughnasadh has been celebrated throughout Ireland and the British Isles since at least the 15th century.
Lugh or Lug is a prominent Celtic god who is known for his noble and warrior-like qualities. He is known as the Celtic equivalent of Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman), or Óðinn (Norse). Lugh is known as the Celtic god of leadership, judgment, oaths, and craftsmanship. He represents the sun and light.
- Other Names: Lammas, Lúnasa, Lùnastal, Garland Sunday, Bilberry Sunday
- Symbols: the sun, wheat, berries, corn dolls, scythes
- Themes: abundance, harvest, gratitude, prosperity, protection
- Colors: yellow, gold, green, brown, bronze
- Herbs: corn, wheat, all grains, rosehips, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, mugwort, hollyhock, oak, blackberry, acacia
- Flowers: sunflowers, marigolds, poppies, cornflowers
- Crystals: carnelian, citrine, lodestone, moss agate, tiger's eye, clear quartz
- Food + Drink: corn, berries, bread, grains
- Activities: bake bread or other sweets with berries, grains, and honey; go berry picking, visit a farmer's market, cook using fresh and local ingredients, make jam, spend time in the sunshine