Also known as Lughnasadh or August Eve, Lammas is a harvest festival celebrated on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere (celebrated February 1st in the Southern Hemisphere) where we give thanks for the ripeness and fruitfulness of the land. The gardens are overflowing; the first grains have ripened and been harvested. It is a time to give thanks for the gifts the earth has given us and a time to celebrate our own skills.
The outcome of our own hard labor is woven together with the gifts from the God and Goddess to provide us with food, vitality, and life.
A Festival Of… Bread?
Nowadays, we might look at what Lammas is really celebrating and question it; bread? really?
However, in the older days, people relied on the land that provided them with food; and grain was a huge factor in whether they would live through the winter healthily, or slowly starve to death.
In a morbid of time such as that, it is certainly understandable why they would make sure to honor grain and give thanks to the land that provided it, to the Gods and Goddess’ that watched over it.
Nowadays, though, it seems to be one of the most forgotten and least celebrated Wiccan holidays. As we’ve become industrialized, harvest festivals have been all but forgotten. But it is important to remember that while we may not acquire our food the same way as we once did, it is still just as vital to our well being and should be celebrated none the less.
A quote from Wicca-Spirituality.com:
As global food production teeters on its delicate framework of agribusiness, cheap oil, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, nuclear irradiation, and now genetically-engineered nonreproductive seeds — not to mention climate change — we would benefit by remembering just how crucial the farmers’ harvests are to our continued well-being.
We may not live like we used to; but these celebrations are a reminder that we are still the same in many ways, and maybe, just maybe, the people who lived in these times had a few things right.
How to celebrate Lammas
Lammas is the first of three harvest festivals Wiccan’s celebrate. People choose to either focus on the grain harvest, or honor the Celtic god Lugh, a solar deity of craft and skill. You can encompass all three by honoring the grain, thanking the sun for giving you abundance, and appreciating your own skills and laboring it took to get there, (Even if is just to the grocery store.)
With that being said, there are some rituals I’ve found that my friends and I will be taking from to celebrate Lammas
The Wheel of the Year
Lammas is the perfect time to look around, take stock, and appreciate where you are and all the hard work you’ve done. The wheel of year, and the summer, are now half over. Think of the things you meant to do this summer but didn’t get around to; evaluate what has left your life. Appreciate the feeling of letting go just as much as realizing all the things that have come into your life.
Happy Lammas, little Wiccans!