This post explores what Lughnasadh is, looking at its history and how that relates to us today. Lughnasadh is also known as Lammas and is the first of three harvest festivals on the wheel of the year. It normally occurs on or around August 1st each year in the Northern hemisphere.
Lughnasadh has been celebrated in some shape or form for centuries. This modern Pagan celebration in the wheel of the year takes its origins from the Celtics. Some say that it is named after the sun god Lugh as Lugh is often celebrated at this time. According to worldhistory.org the name Lugh translates to light and brightness. Lugh is the god of all skills, crafts, and arts.
Traditionally, Lughnasadh is the first day of harvest. It would be seen as unlucky to harvest any grains before this day. The festival would include a part of the harvest to be given to Lugh as a thank you for what they have harvested and the hope for continued successful harvests. There would be music, food, dancing, and games.
Although we no longer rely on our town’s farmers to have successful harvests as we once did, there is still much that can be taken from this sabbath. Firstly, we could take a moment to think of what our forefathers went through, the work that they did to ensure they survived. Without them, we would not exist!
Secondly, it can be a time to honour Lugh or any deities that you include in your practice. If you do not honour any deities, you could take time to honour the earth and the sun at this time.
Lughnasadh is another turn of the wheel that shows us the changing seasons. Although, it may still be hot, as each day passes there is a little less sunlight each day. We are midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox when the second harvest of the year is celebrated.
Finally, we can look at harvests to mean more than the literal sense. It can be anything that we have been working on, looking after, and growing. Ideas, relationships, careers, anything that you want to include.
Symbols of Lughnasadh
Grains such as wheat, corn, and rye are traditional crops that would be the first to be harvested. Using these in decorations, baking, spells, and crafts is fantastic for Lughnasadh.
Sunflowers are of course associated with the sun. They even look sunny! They are a great symbol of Lughnasadh and can be incorporated into your celebrations.
Scythes are a symbol of harvesting as they would be traditionally used to cut the wheat and corn in the fields. You do not need an actual scythe, you could draw one or display a model miniature.
The ultimate symbol of an abundant harvest. Great for this wonderful time of year.
It is hoped that you have enjoyed this post about what Lughnasadh is. For more information about this great sabbath, why not check out my dedicated page, here.
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