Take a look at Cerridwen Greenleaf’s recent blog post about Lammas Day.
The Romans honored Demeter, the grain mother and overseer of the harvest, during August. The Celts celebrated Lughnassadh in honor of Lugh, their god of many skills. Lughnassadh was adopted and adapted by the Christian church as Lammas (“Loaf-mass”) and is still celebrated. The custom is that when the first grain is harvest, it must be baked into a loaf and offered to Lugh as thanks for healthy crops. Native Americans called August the Corn Moon, and the Franks referred to this time of year as Aranmanoth, The Corn Ears Month. Lammas Day, August Eve Ritual
Essential elements for this ritual are wheat or barley, sheaves of grain, cauldron, water, one floating candle, one candle for each person present, and essential oils of rose, lavender, or other summer flowers.
To create the sacred space of the ritual, arrange the sheaves of grain in the four directions around a cauldron. Fill the cauldron three-quarters full with water and add essential oils of the flowers of summer. Cast your circle in the usual manner.
At this point, the leader of the ritual should light the candles and then hand them to each person and guide the participants to form a circle around the cauldron. Now the floating candle should be lit and placed in the cauldron by the leader, who says:
O Ancient Lugh of days long past,
Be here with us now
In this place between worlds,
On this Lammas Day
Rap three times on the cauldron and say:
Harvest is here and the seasons do change,
This is the height of the year.
The bounty of summer sustains us
In spirit, in soul, and in body.
Now the group circles five times around the cauldron. All present should then speak their gratitude for the gifts of the season, and the riches of the summer bounty. Storytelling, singing, and dancing should all be a part of this rite, and the leader determines when the rite is done by putting out the candles and proclaiming:
This rite is done!
Close the circle.
There are many ways you can create your own variations on Lammas Day celebrations with your own views on the summer season and how you show appreciation to nature and spirit. One lovely way to celebrate Lammas Day is to have a feast that begins and ends with gratitude and blessings for the good and wine with a place set and food served for the great godly guest, Lugh.
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