Lammas / Lughnasad Overview

iHello all, I would like to start by apologizing for this late post. I try to post about Sabats further in advance, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lammas is this Monday, so hopefully this reaches you all in time…

Lammas-

This holiday marks the halfway mark to autumn. The days are now apparently shorter as the sun is spending less time in the sky, and fall is quickly creeping up. Lammas, also known as Lughnasad, is also a holiday celebrating the first harvest of the year. This holiday is celebrated on August Eve (August first), which is actually the first day of Celtic autumn.

In a less agricultural view, Lammas is seen as a time of embracing the unknown. Spells to influence outcomes or meditation to focus on goals and dreams are other common Lammas practices. This along with harvesting from your garden/farm or picking wild berries and fruits are ways to celebrate this Sabat. Another common practice that was seen in the past was taking a portion of your harvest and throwing it back into your field. This was to help put nutrients back into the soil, a form of sacrifice to promote growth. This can be recreated today by taking some of your harvest and adding it to your compost pile.

As part of the Lamas ritual people often hold large feasts with family or friends that is dedicated to the Goddess. Baking bread and cooking meals with harvested crops is common place within this meal. Formal ritual, mediation, and spell work are typically done before the meal (this is standard throughout most Wiccan sabats/esbats).

Decorating your Lammas altar is a simple way to recognize this holiday. Fresh flowers picked from the garden (sun flowers, zinnias, or even wild flowers), nuts, grains, and berries are all fond on the Lamas altar. Yellow (or gold) candles are also typically burned, and a perfect piece of fruit is served to symbolize the harvest. In lieu of altar cakes a fresh baked loaf of bread (usually corn bread) is eaten during the Cake and Ale rite.

Although this Sabat is not one of the more commonly talked about, it is still important in the ever turning wheel of the year. Enjoy you Lughnasad harvest, and be careful picking those wild berries,

Blessed be everyone!

(photo credit: pentacle, goddess, bread, lugnasadh)