What Is Lughnasadh?
Lughnasadh or Lammas as it is otherwise known is a Pagan holiday, a Christian holiday (Lammas) and is one of the Wiccan sabbats that are celebrated during the year. Traditionally it is a Gaelic festival, being mentioned in early Irish literature, marking the beginning of the harvest season. It is also an official holiday in Ireland and one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Beltane.
Lughnasadh is celebrated at the midpoint between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon). In the southern hemisphere, Lughnasadh is usually celebrated around the 1st of February (1st August for the Northern Hemisphere), although the actual date does change slightly from year to year as it is marked off the natural cycles, not just physical dates.
Lughnasadh was named after the Celtic god Lugh (hence the name Lughnasadh), the god of craftsmanship and in the middle ages, Lughnasadh was celebrated with large gatherings that included ceremonies, feasting, match making, athletic contests etc. Lughnasadh marks the blessing of the first fruits of the harvest, an important event in historical society, where the first sheaves of grain were cut and turned into bread.
Christians celebrate this time of year also, calling it Lammas. The word Lammas derives from Old English, meaning “loaf mass”, and in early Christianity, the first baked loaves of bread from the harvest grain were taken to church to be blessed during mass.
What Is The Significance Of Lughnasadh & How Is It Celebrated?
Lughnasadh is often seen as a time of opportunity and good fortune. It is a time to reap the rewards of our efforts and to appreciate and bless all of the opportunities that have come our way.
During Lughnasadh (Lammas) Christians may choose to attend mass, whereas Pagans and Wiccans may choose to celebrate this day by baking bread and cakes or attending a harvest ritual and decorating an altar with
images of the harvest such as corn, wheat, or anything that would be harvested at that time. Some choose to celebrate Lughnasadh by crafting objects to honour Lugh, the God of craftsmanship It is also said that this is a favourable time for a handfasting ceremony.
However you choose to celebrate Lughnasadh, it is a time of giving thanks for the many blessings that have come your way, whilst taking advantage of the warm weather, before we roll on into Autumn and things start to slow down again.
If you would like to observe the actual date of Lughnasadh this year, check out the 2024 Equinox, Solstice & Cross-Quarter Moments here.
Do you celebrate Lughnasadh? Let us know how you celebrate in the comments.
Lammas. (2023, December 26). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas
Bhagat, D. (2019, July 30). The Origins and Practices of Lammas/Lughnasad. Boston Public Library. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://www.bpl.org/blogs/post/the-origins-and-practices-of-lammas-lughnasadh/
Lughnasadh. (2024, January 23). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lughnasadh