Posted by Dorine King on September 2nd, 2023 in Lammas

    Celebrating Lammas: The First Harvest Festival

    Lammas, is also known as Lughnasadh.  It is a cross-quarter day celebrated on August 1st here in the Northern Hemisphere. Personally, I celebrate it throughout the entire month of August and through Labor Day.  This ancient festival marks the beginning of the harvest season.  It’s that time when the first fruits in the garden are ready to be gathered. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of Lammas, its traditions, and how you can celebrate this special day.

    Where did Lammas Begin?

    Lammas has its roots in Celtic and Pagan traditions. The name “Lammas” itself comes from the Old English word “hlafmæsse,” which means “loaf mass.”  It was a time when people would offer the first loaves of bread made from the newly harvested wheat as a thanksgiving to the gods for a successful harvest.

    It’s All About The Grain Harvest

    Lammas is all about celebrating the grain harvest, especially wheat and barley.  In ancient times, this festival marked the crucial moment when the hard work of planting and tending crops began to pay off.  Farmers would gather in their fields to reap the first sheaves of grain, a practice that continues in some rural communities today.

    Who is The Sun God Lugh?

    In Celtic mythology, Lammas is associated with the god Lugh, he is often depicted as a sun god.  Lughnasadh is named after him, and this festival is seen as a time when the sun’s strength begins to wane as we move towards autumn and winter.

    What are Some Lammas Traditions?

    • Baking Bread: Baking bread is a central tradition of Lammas. You can celebrate by making your own bread.  Try to use freshly harvested grains or simply enjoy a loaf of artisan bread from a local bakery.
    • Harvest Feasts: Lammas is an excellent excuse to host a harvest-themed feast with friends and family. Incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables, and give thanks for the abundance of the earth. I will be making an appetizer of Flatbread with Blackberries and Goat Cheese for our Labor Day Harvest Feast.  And since I have an abundance of tomatoes in our garden, the main dish is Sausages and Tomatoes.  I’ll be serving that with a loaf of crusty bread.  For desert we will have a Blackberry and Apple Crumble and a homemade blend of Blackberry Iced Tea will accompany our meal. (Follow me on Facebook to see more about these recipes.)
    • Bonfires: Later in the evening we will have a small fire in our back yard fire pit to celebrate Lammas. This not only honors the sun but also provides an opportunity for communal gatherings.

    Are there Modern Celebrations?

    While Lammas has its roots in ancient traditions, we celebrate it in modern ways as well. You don’t have to be a farmer to appreciate the significance of the harvest season. Consider visiting a local farmers’ market, go on a nature hike, or even start your own potted herb garden to connect with the spirit of the season.

    Labor Day

    Lammas is a time to pause and give thanks for the bountiful harvest that sustains us. Whether you choose to participate in traditional rituals or create your own modern traditions, this festival invites us to appreciate the cycles of nature and the importance of the harvest season in our lives. So, this Labor Day Weekend, my family and I will take a moment to celebrate Lammas and connect with the age-old tradition of honoring the Earth’s abundance.


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