Lughnasadh: (pronounced Loo-gnah-sahd)Also known as Lammas, Cornucopia[Strega], July 30 – August 1. This sabbat marks the sacred marriage of the Sun and the Land. The sun is at it’s hottest, but his light is fading. This also marks the beginning of the harvest. Corn (or wheat in Ireland) was generally harvested at this time. The festival of Lammas (Aug 1st) marks the middle of summer and the beginning of fall harvest. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we’ve reached the end of Fall (Oct 31st), we will have experienced a range of temperature from the heat of August to the cold of late fall maybe even a snow fall depending on where you live. It is of course a cross-quarter day, one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring 1/4 of a year after Beltane. It’s true astrological point is 15 degrees Leo. ‘Lammas’ was the medieval Christian name for the holiday and it means ‘loaf-mass’, for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of ‘first fruits’ and early harvest. In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as ‘Lugnasadh’, a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish sun-god Lugh who do not actually die[mythically speaking]until fall equinox. As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.
The Lughnasadh Sabbat 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 therefore greatly associated with bread as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested. It is a time to give thanks and honor to all Gods and Goddesses of the Harvest, as well as those who represent Death and Resurrection.