The word Lammas means ‘Loaf Harvest’, but the original name of the festival, Lughnasadh, comes from the Irish god Lugh. Lugh is associated with the power of the sun and light, and is also celebrated for his connection to skills and crafts. So this festival is a perfect opportunity to gather together around a fire and create something. Together with friends and family, you could make a quilt, whittle staffs, weave baskets, or make music. Lammas is one of four Celtic fire festivals, so this is the perfect opportunity to gather with others around a fire.
Lammas is a time to give thanks to the Earth for her manifold gifts. Taking time to be still and experience gratitude together can be a very connecting event for family and community, and you may find it’s something you want to continue doing throughout the year before you share a family meal. Reflecting on the journey your food has been on, from the first seeds through to the person who sold it to you at the market, reminds us how lives are affected by our food choices. Growing your own food connects you even further with the cycles of the earth, and this might be a time that you fill your plates with delightful treats from the allotment or garden.
THE LAMMAS LOAF
Traditionally, communities baked loaves to share at this special festival. Why not bake your own Lammas loaf and share it with neighbours and friends? You could make your loaf in the shape of a man – the god Lugh – or in the shape of a woman – She of the Corn/ Mother of all Life. As you break the loaf, take time to reflect on your own personal harvest this year. What have you gained? What new skills have you learnt? What would you like to let go of and burn ceremonially in the fire.
EXPLORE YOUR TALENTS
At your Lammas feast, think about the skills and talents you want to focus on in the coming year. In following your dreams, you are serving the community as a whole and bringing more bliss into the world. Each of us has a harboured desire to learn something new, to expand our consciousness in some way. Whatever you want to learn this year – woodwork, needlework, music, cookery, healing, dancing, gardening, writing, painting, exploring - make this the year you bring your talent to light. Is there a way you can join with others to explore your new skill? Perhaps you might start a circle of singers, a gathering of guerrilla gardeners, a nestle of knitters, a formation of fiddlers, or a posse of painters!
MAKE A CORN DOLLY
A traditional way to celebrate and mark this festival is by making a corn dolly. This is a wonderful thing to do with children and can become part of your seasonal table, if you have one, at home. Gather the first sheafs of corn and twist them together to make a doll shape, fastening them with coloured ribbon. Colours that reflect this time of year are greens, yellows, oranges and harvest colours. Look online for videos on how to make corn dollies, they can be as simple or as complex as little hands want to make them!