Lammas or Lughnasadh
Lammas means “loaf mass,” and Lughnasadh means ‘the feast of Lugh.” This is the first of the harvest festivals – the first harvest, the wheat harvest. The wheat is harvested and bread, the stuff of life, will once again be available during the dark time of the year. The word “Lammas” honors this. The first loaf is the loaf of life. Lugh was the Celtic sun god, the God of all crafts. Lugh’s greatest gift to humankind was the gift of himself. He is the God of the grain who gives his life so that life may continue. As the wheat is cut and dies, so Lugh dies. As the seed of the wheat allows it to rise again, so does Lugh. Lammas is not just the celebration of the harvest, it is also the celebration of life, the continuation of life. Because of the gift of the grain, we may continue to live. Corn dollies were woven of the last of the wheat to be cut. This wheat contained the Spirit of the wheat. These dollies were set in a place of honor and then either buried or burned at Imbolc to allow the Spirit back into the earth to grow and rise again. This is the time when we harvest what we sowed at Imbolc. We planted our seeds. What have we harvested? When we make our corn dollies, we think of what we have harvested and remember the blessings of the earth.
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