Creating a Lammas or Lughnasadh Celebration
As the summer changes from warm to hot, we turn the wheel and celebrate the major sabbat of Lughnasadh or Lammas. Like many of our sabbats, it has multiples names. Lughnasadh was the Celtic name of the holiday, focusing on the God Lugh. Lughnasadh was a time of feasting, trading, ceremonies and ritual athletic competitions in honor of Lugh’s foster-mother Tailtu. The other name, Lammas, actually comes from a Christian holiday – it means loaf mass. It has been noted was a Christian celebration of the first harvest, though, at this point, it has been co-opted by Pagans (Which seems pretty fair since it’s been the other way around with many holidays).
There are several themes and ideas witches can build a celebration around, regardless of the amount of time or energy you have to spend.
This is the first harvest, the harvest of corn and grain. If you didn’t plan a garden this year, and don’t have a garden from which to harvest, consider looking for a U-PICK farm. In southern California, in fall, apple picking is very popular, but there are also other options during the year. Look for blackberries in your area, they are often available during this time.
Wheat and Corn
This first harvest is the harvest of grain, like wheat and corn. Use seeds, nuts and grains in your celebration. You can decorate with them, use them ritually, or in crafting. Wheatweaving is a traditional craft for Lughnasadh. You can check out the basics here. I suggest starting with something simple like a Brighid’s cross. You can also make these at Imbolc as well. One project I made at a Lughnasadh years ago was a simple piece of three interlocking braided circles. I made it as a protection charm, and you can too- with the intention of protecting your “harvest.”
Bake a loaf of bread for this first harvest of Lammas. What’s really cool about this, is that there are so many different options. You may opt for a no-knead bread for an easy possibility, or you can experiment with focaccia bread art for a more challenging activity. You can use your bread in your ritual or feast, or do this intentionally as part of your celebration. You can offer the first piece to the land, or just eat it, taking the energy of the first harvest- a job well done- into your body.
Plan a Lammas or Lughnasadh Event
Plan an event to celebrate this turning of the wheel. You can include a ritual if you like, or just plan your event around a delicious meal. Foods that are associated with Lammas and Lughnasadh include bread, corn, seeds, blackberries, as well as whatever is seasonal for you at the time. Want to do more than just a meal? You can hold your own ceremonial games. This can be as easy as a cornhole tournament, word searches, water balloon fun, or even an online game, if you have to take your event online.
As you are planning your own Lammas or Lughnasadh gathering, make sure you consider your time and energy. The sabbats are about celebration, and it’s hard to celebrate if you’re exhausted. Make sure you practice self-care as you turn the wheel.
Note: If you’re new to the craft, check out my 90 minute masterclass – it’s free.