Updated: Sep 19
Across the evening of the 1st of August until the 2nd, we celebrate the high summer and first harvest.
The time when the great union of Sun and Earth bears its first grains - Lughnasadh is a time to gather in and give thanks for Abundance in our lives
Since Litha, the Summer Solstice, on the 21st of June, we have been enjoying all of the joys of Summer. Lughnasadh is the point at which we begin to turn inwards again. Things are beginning to come slowly to a stop, activity and growth is retreating, and darker days are on their way.
Lughnasadh is a time for feasting, and for preparing for the introspection of shorter days. It is a time for community celebrations before we retreat to more private affairs again.
A time to honour the divine cycle of abundant nature - we harvest the seeds which will then be returned to the Earth, ready to reappear in Spring as new plants. The cutting of the first grains represents the beginnings of 'death' for Nature's abundance of this year's cycle, but also holds the potential for the abundance of next Springtime. Plants are cut down, life sacrificed, to feed the people throughout the winter. This harvest holds the potential of all future growth and all future harvests in its seeds - an ever-going cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Lughnasadh is a bittersweet time of death and life, where we can reflect on the immortality of Nature. The life-giving energy of the sun is transformed into the life-giving energy of the bread.
It was traditional at Lughnasadh (or Lammas) to cut the first grain sheaf ceremonially, and bake it into a bread to share amongst the community, giving thanks. The last sheaf was also cut ceremonially and made into a corn dolly, which was decorated with ribbons and clothes. Sometimes this might have been made into a mother with a small 'baby' corn inside it, representing the potentiality contained with the seeds.
Enjoy a feast with friends at this time of transformation and slowing down.