The Lughnasadh is a time to celebrate the first of three harvest celebrations (Mabon and Samhain being the other two). It marks the middle of Summer represents the start of the harvest cycle and relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is greatly associated with bread, as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested. The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 to honor the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice.
The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life.
One traditional Lughnasadh custom was the construction of the corn dolly or corn maiden. This figure, braided into a woman's form from the last harvested sheaf of grain, represented the Harvest Spirit. The doll would be saved until Spring, when it was ploughed into the field to consecrate the new planting and insure a good harvest.
|My Corn Doll Witch|
While I love the idea of plowing the corn doll to insure a good harvest, my corn doll witch sits on a shelf among a few other harvest season trinkets throughout the harvest festival season.
If you are interested in non-traditional seasonal celebrations you can find them within the pages of these books.
If you follow a Goddess path and are looking for simple rituals and ideas for living in a more sacred, mindful way every day, I highly recommend this book it is absolutely worth tracking down a used copy if you can.
From the back cover: In 2007, the Seruntine family relocated to a secluded Nova Scotia homestead. They made it a point to live gently upon the land by growing and raising their own food, living in balance with the surrounding forest, and honoring Nature's spirits. In return, the land and the spirits looked after them. Seasons of the Sacred Earth follows life deep in their woodland hollow through a magical year.
And another book I have on living the around the Wheel of the Year or Wheel of Life and enjoying all the ways to celebrate, and again if you follow the Goddess path you will find much among the pages.