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August 1st is the celebration of Lughnasadh in the Pagan wheel of the year.
Also known as Lammas, or First Harvest, the name of this festival – Lughnasadh – is Irish Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”.
Lughnasadh marks the beginning of the noticeable descent of the Sun into the darkness of winter. From the connection between the Earth (female principle) and the Sun (male principle), the marriage of the Sky Father (Sun God) with the Earth Mother we celebrated at Beltane, emerge the fruits of the first harvest of the year.
Lughnasadh is a time of joy and thanksgiving for the first fruits and grain. It is also a time of tension, because the dark days of winter are coming nearer, and most of the harvest is not brought in and stored away yet.
The God of the harvest is the Green Man (also known as John Barleycorn). He sacrifices himself every year in order to enable human life on Earth. In some areas his death is mourned with wreaths decorated with poppies or cornflowers.
The grain is cut, part of it goes into bread and nutrition, another part is stored away and used as seeds next spring, to create new life. Looking at that, thoughts about sacrifice, transformation, death and rebirth are also part of Lughnasadh.
The celebration of Lughnasadh includes the ritual cutting of the first grain and an offering thereof, possibly the making of a first meal and the ritual eating of it, as well as dancing. Fires are mentioned, but fire or light do not play such a prominent role as with the other fire festivals. This is probably because August is a warm month in most of Europe, with still long daylight hours, where no fire is needed.
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*some text taken from the #obod website
Copyright Photos to Victoria Musson