Happy Lughnasadh!

AugC

August 1st (halfway between summer solstice and autumn equinox) marks an ancient festival practiced by the Gaels of the first harvest, the first fruits of their growing season. As such, it was a sacred time.
There are several names and variations of those names for this festival. Lúnasa, Lughnasadh, Lughnasa, Lammas, etc. All except the latter represent a festival to honor the Irish god Lugh. Lammas was the Anglo-Saxon word for loaf-mass, or the festival of the wheat harvest.
According to myth, Lugh was raised by his step-mother, Tailtiu. Tailtiu may have been an earth goddess, and when she died, Lugh instituted the funeral games in her honor. These were much like the ancient Olympics. Tailteann games were held in several places, including at Emain Macha, Carman, and Tailtin. Modern recreations of these festivals are now in Gweedore, Sligo, Brandon, Rathangan and Craggaunowen, as well as oter places.
The festival would have religious rituals, games of athletic and artisan competitions, matchmaking and trading. It’s possible today’s remnant of a matchmaking ceremony in Lisdoonvarna stems from this tradition.
The tradition of climbing hills and mountains has been Christianized in Ireland to Reek Sunday, a time of pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick, traditionally done barefoot on the last Sunday in July.
Festivals such as the Puck Fair have it’s roots in Lughnasadh, and modern pagan revivalists have brought the observation back into popular use.
The first cutting of the corn is a ritual during Lughnasadh, just as the last cutting of corn is a ritual at Samhain. These honored cuttings were offered to the gods. Bilberries also feature heavily in the traditional offers and festival foods, and bonfires are lit.
A common prayer during rituals is to ask for a gentle rain to help the crops.
So join me in a prayer to the gods for a bountiful harvest and a gentle rain (especially in southern California). It is raining as I type this, so perhaps our prayers are already answered!
 *****
I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.
– Better To Have Loved – Contemporary romance based on the true story of my parents’ 30-year search for love
– Legacy of Hunger – Historical fantasy set in 1846 Ireland
– Legacy of Truth – Historical fantasy set around 1800 Ireland. Prequel to Legacy of Hunger. Available now!
– Legacy of Luck – Historical fantasy set in 1745 Ireland and Scotland. Prequel to Legacy of Truth, tentative release date January, 2017!
– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore! Bestselling author (top #100 Amazon Canada, #1 in Paranormal Fantasy, Amazon Canada) Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with 'A', and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors with NO unfinished novels. Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad. Facebook: www.facebook.com/greendragonauthor Homepage: www.greendragonartist.com Blog: www.greendragonartist.net Twitter: www.twitter.com/greendragon9

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Posted in History, pagan
2 comments on “Happy Lughnasadh!
  1. […] via Happy Lughnasadh! — Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author and Artist […]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the info! Thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 1 person

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