I've got 3 easy Lammas & Lughnasadh rituals that will help you celebrate the harvest of nature and your life as we mark the height of summer and enter a season of gathering and gratitude.
Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest celebrations in the pagan wheel of the year. Named for the Celtic sun god, Lugh, it marks the grain harvest and the sacrifice of grain deities like the Corn Mother. The cutting of the wheat was basically a ritualistic killing of those plants people had worked and prayed so hard for. It was important to honor this gift from the gods.
The harvest also marked the end of the lazy days of summer and the beginning of the preparation for winter. The height of summer was abundant, but this food needed to be preserved for the harsher winter months. So our ancestors were busy baking bread, preserving fruits and vegetables, and brewing beer to save the sun's precious energy for the dark half of the year.
Later when the Christians became dominant, this festival became known as Lammas, which means Loaf Mass. The first sheaves of wheat were cut, and the priests blessed the first loaves of bread. The general spirit of the festival remained the same. It's a harvest celebration and a chance to give thanks for all the abundance of the Eart.
This sabbat is usually celebrated on or around the 1st of August. Traditionally, Celtic people would gather at this time of year to socialize, celebrate, sell or trade their wares, and engage in athletic competitions. You can see this basic idea kept alive today in county fairs across the United States.
So how can you celebrate Lughnasadh or Lammas? Here are a few easy, family-friendly ideas to get you started.
Work with wheat and grains
As a kitchen witch, the first thing that comes to mind for me is baking bread. I'm definitely not the type of person who bakes my own bread every week, but I will always do it for a special occasion like this. If you're a nervous or inexperienced baker, start with something simple like some Buttermilk Soda Bread. My personal favorite is this Tear & Share Flower Bread because you can just say it's shaped like the sun.
Really any baking would do, anything from cornbread to cupcakes. Whether you work with all-purpose flour or a heritage wheat, it's all about your intention. Make sure you're focusing your energy on whatever you want to call in with your creation. This time of year, it's a great idea to reflect on what you've created or harvested in your own life and give thanks for it. You can also acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice it's taken to get you to where you are.
If you want to make things a little more exciting, you can embed a dried bean in your bread dough before it goes in the oven. Then, whoever gets the bean in their piece of bread gets a wish granted.
If you're more of a crafter than a cook, there are plenty of cool crafts you can make with wheat and grain to decorate and bless your home for the season. Try making a wheat wreath to hang on your front door or craft a corn dolly to keep on your altar. Or simply cultivate a cornucopia of foraged nuts, grains, and grasses for your hearth. Work in gold candles to make a Lughnasadh or Lammas altar.
Incorporate knot magic into your crafts by tying your intention with every knot you make. Consider speaking something that you're grateful for every time you tie a knot so attract even more goodness into your life.
Play with fire
Lughnasadh is also a fire festival, marking the deep heat of summer but also acknowledging its gradual waning. It also falls in the midst of Leo season, which is a fire sign ruled by the Sun. It's fair to say that this most important celestial body plays a big role in the festivities. No harvest would be possible without the sun, so it definitely deserves some respect.
A bonfire is always a great way to bring a bit of the sun's energy down to Earth. If you have nice weather, you could plan a carb-heavy Lughnasadh feast and gather everyone around the bonfire to eat and celebrate. Form a sacred circle and take turns saying what you're grateful for as you toss fragrant herbs onto the fire.
May Lughnasadh bring you an abundant harvest
I hope you give one of these 3 easy Lammas and Lughnasadh rituals a try. As a bread lover, this is one of my favorite sabbats. It's got so many delicious possibilities, both material and spiritual. Just be sure you take a moment to think about where your food comes from and give thanks for the life it provides.
If you're looking for ideas for your Lammas or Lughnasadh feast, be sure to check out these 100 awesome recipes to celebrate Lammas. And if you want even more information on this turn in the wheel of the year, listen to our Lughnasadh episode on The Coven of Awesomeness Podcast.
And don't forget to reach out on Instagram if you have any questions or want to share your Lughnasadh celebration. I hope you harvest all you desire. Blessed be.