Today at sunset (1st Aug) the festival of Lughnasadh (its Celtic name) or the festival of Lammas (its Saxon name) begins and lasts until sunset on the 2nd.
The word Lughnasadh is thought to be named after the Irish Celtic God 'Lugh the Light Bearer' as the word actually means 'the funeral feast of Lugh'. This refers to the fact that the male principal or God in the continuing cycle of the Pagan wheel, lays down his life and spills his blood upon the corn in order that the earth's fertility will be assured over the coming year.
Lammas on the other hand comes from the Saxon word, 'hlaefmass', meaning loaf festival and refers to the fact that the Saxons made a loaf from the gathering of the first grains with which to celebrate the harvest of the first fruits and honour their Gods. With the coming of Christianity this name was adopted by the church. Much folklore and legend abounds with regards to the harvesting of the corn and this will be outlined in further blogs as the week progresses. Meanwhile it may be time to make our own personal sacrifices by perhaps giving up a bad habit, or making donations of goods or time to a needy charity. It is however a time for celebration also, for out of every ending new beginnings always spring and this one heralds future fertility and abundance. So this week, make a corn dolly, bake a loaf or simply invite family and friends to celebrate the good things we all have in our lives. Enjoy!