What is Lammas?
A sabbat is a Wiccan and Witchcraft term for a holy day. The Sabbats are the eight major holidays of the Wiccan year. They mark the turning of the seasons and the progression of our lives. The upcoming sabbat is Lammas. Lammas day, also known as Lughnasadh, is a harvest festival celebrated by many Pagans and Wiccans. It falls on August 1st and marks the first of three harvests. The festival is usually celebrated over a three-day period. Lammas 2022 is a time to celebrate the abundance of the season and give thanks for the fruits of the earth. It is also a time for reflection and introspection as we begin to prepare for the darker days of winter. Some traditions include making corn dollies, baking bread, and offering libations to the gods.
History of Lammas
The celebration originated as a funeral feast for Tailtiu, the Irish Goddess. In Irish mythology, Lammas rites and rituals are believed to have originated with the Celtic god Lugh, who was honored for his skills in agriculture and crafts. Offerings of bread and fruits were made to Lugh during the festival, and it is thought that these offerings may have given rise to the tradition of Harvest Festivals. Today, Lammas is still celebrated by many Gaelic communities around the world.
Celebrating the Lughnasadh festival has transformed throughout the years. In older times, large gatherings took place where people would celebrate and worship the gods in ceremonies and community. Today, sabbats are still celebrated in communal settings, but you can also celebrate them individually. Many people mark the occasion by baking bread from fresh wheat flour and sharing it with friends and family. They may also celebrate by making wine or mead from newly harvested grapes or honey. For some people, Lammas is also a time to honor the god Lugh, who is often associated with the harvest. Festivals include music, arts, dancing, and food.
Foods for Lammas
Many traditional foods and recipes are associated with this holiday, including bread, fruits, vegetables, and meats. One popular recipe is a Cornish pasty, which is a savory pastry filled with beef and vegetables. Other favorites include blackberry pie, fresh corn on the cob, and grilled lamb chops. At your celebration, eat bread, drink wine with others, and celebrate the abundant harvest of Lugh. Another common symbol of Lammas is the loaf of bread. This symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest and is often baked into a special cake called a Lammas cake. Baking bread and cakes for others during this time is a great way to celebrate Lammas. Whatever your favorite Lammas dish may be, be sure to enjoy it while celebrating the first harvest of the year!
Symbols and Traditions of Lammas
This holiday has many symbols and traditions associated with it. One of the most common symbols of Lammas is the corn dolly. This is a doll made out of straw that represents the spirit of the grain. The corn dolly is often used in rituals and ceremonies to honor the harvest.
Participants often visited holy wells where they would leave offerings, perform rituals, and ask for blessings from the gods. These wells were believed to have magical significance. A clootie or rag tree usually accompanied these wells. People would hang strips of fabric and paper as offerings to the Gods.
Sharing of Grapes
While many rituals often require fire and other tools and ingredients, a simple ritual during Lammas is the sharing of grapes. These grapes are a representation of abundance, prosperity, gratitude, and healthy crops. Offering the grapes to Lugh or Tailtiu is also custom.
Creating an Altar
You can create an altar space dedicated to Lugh. Light a candle at this altar during the three days of Lammas and give thanks to Lugh for his abundance, harvest, and good fortune. During this holiday, create a space with grain, bread, and any other items associated with the harvest season. Also, offer a cup of red wine or any other alternative.
To add to your altar space, you can work with crystal energy as well as other altar essentials found below.
Crystals for Lammas