We are nearing the height of summer, in all its bounty. Trees are abundant with leaves, farmer’s markets have a plethora of items to sell, and the sun pours it’s heat down upon us. Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is exactly the midpoint between the beginning of summer and beginning of winter (according to Celtic culture). This is a time to celebrate the first fruits of your harvest, be it literally celebrating what you have grown in your garden or the ideas you have planted that have begun to manifest.
Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate this sometimes overlooked holiday.
Bake or Purchase your Favorite Bread
This festival was celebrated by the Celts from the sunset on August 1st until sunset August 2nd and they called it Lughnasad after 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 baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live on. In many cultures, we see grain and bread as a symbol of God giving life and nourishment, from pagan to Christian. It’s yet another way to honor the harvest and stay grateful as the “light” or sun begins to fade.
So if you choose to bake or buy bread, perhaps sing a mantra while you bake it or bless it once you purchase it. Give thanks for all of the items that gave their lives so that you could be nourished. Such simple acts bring us back down to “earth” and help us stay connected with her.
Extra things to do with the blessed bread:
–You can also give pieces of the bread itself back to nature as an offering. The birds love this. Milk and honey make a good pair if you decide to do so.
— In the olden days, they used to also take that first loaf and sprinkle it around the home to symbolize protection and ward off any energy that they did not want near their home. So, perhaps add some protection to your home and feed nature.