Lammas/ Lughnasadh

Lammas/ Lughnasadh

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 its 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 end of summer and the beginning of fall. 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 temperatures from the heat of August to the cold of late fall maybe even a snowfall 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. Its 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.
The Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god Lugh, one of the chief gods of the Tuatha De Danann, giving us Lughnasadh in Ireland,  In Modern Irish, it is called Lúnasa, in Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal, and in Manx: Luanistyn. (In Wales, this time is known simply as Gwl Awst, the August Feast.)
Lugh dedicated this festival to his foster-mother, Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg, who died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated.
Artists and entertainers displayed their talents, traders came from far and wide to sell food, farm animals, fine crafts and clothing, and there was much storytelling, music, and high-spirited revelry.
This was also an occasion for handfasting or trial marriages. Young men and women lined up on either side of a wooden gate in a high wall, in which a hole was carved, large enough for a hand. One by one, girl and boy would grasp a hand in the hole, without being able to see who was on the other side. They were now married and could live together for a year and a day to see if it worked out. If not, the couple returned to the next years gathering and officially separated by standing back to back and walking away from each other.

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