Happy Lughnasadh everyone!
Being an agricultural community, on Lughnasadh, the Celtic farmers would cut the first grains of the season and families would make loaves of bread. In Irish mythology, the festival was said to have been started by Lugh, the many-skilled god of light, storms, harvest and crafts, as a funeral feast and sporting competition in commemoration of his foster mother, the goddess Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Lughnasadh means “wedding feast of Lugh” and represents the time when the god of light is married to the goddess of the land. The festival evolved into a great tribal assembly where legal agreements were made, political problems were discussed and huge Olympic-style sporting contests were held. It was a time of peace and was also one of two festivals where hand-fastings were traditionally held.
Lughnasadh is a time to be grateful for the food on our table and to remember that the hot days of summer are coming to an end as we approach the cold part of the year. It is the time to briefly rest before the hard work of reaping what has been sown begins. It’s traditional to celebrate this time by making corn dollies, baking bread, holding sports competitions, selling your crafts at summer fairs and having bonfires on hilltops. Offerings are given to Lugh in the hopes of a good harvest. I will be celebrating this festival by doing an ADF ritual honouring Lugh, making some bread, drinking elderflower cordial, spending time in nature and picking berries.