Lammas: The Wiccan Holiday
Lammas is an important Wiccan holiday which is also known as Lughnasadh. It marks the beginning of hot days in August, which is the time of the year when the earth is parched and dry. Moreover, the bright yellows and reds of harvest season are honored during the holiday. It occurs when the apples start to ripen, and all the vegetables of summer have already been picked. A vegetable commonly thought of during the holiday is corn. Corn is known for its green color and tall height. Lammas celebrates the harvesting season. It is when you reap what has been sown. Everyone gathers around the first harvests of oats, wheat, grain, and other vegetables. Lammas is either celebrated for the harvest season or to honor Lugh, who is an important pagan god.
Celebration of Grain
Since the beginning of civilization, grain has played an essential part in society. The grain is associated with rebirth and death. Tammuz is a Sumerian god that had been slain during this time, and Ishtar was his lover who had grieved so much so that Nature stopped bearing fruit.
According to legend, it is believed that Tammuz had been mounted by Ishtar and brought to the Underworld for rebirth. As for Greek Legend, Adonis is the grain god. Persephone and Aphrodite are the two goddesses that had fought to gain his love. To put an end to the fighting, Zeus had to order Adonis to spend the rest of his life with Aphrodite after he had spent about six months with Persephone.
In the 10th century and before Christianity in Ireland, harvesting grain before Lammas was considered a bad idea. It usually meant that the harvest of the previous year had finished early. Only on the 1st of August could grain be cut by farmers. During the night, women would bake bread from the first grain of the season. Lammas means Loaf Mass, as it is an Old English word. In Christianity, the Church would bless the season’s first loaves. When the bread was brought to the Church, it was cut into four pieces and symbolized protection.
Lammas is all about the honoring of the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh, who is thought to have possessed many skills. Throughout not just the British Isles, but also Europe, Lugh was honored by different societies. Several towns in Europe have even been named after Lugh. In recent times, people have forgotten about the sacrifices made by our ancestors. When we want to eat bread, we head over to the grocery store and buy packaged bread.
Moreover, if bread runs out, then we can always get more. However, thousands of years ago, it was entirely different for our ancestors. Grain was fundamental to life. Families starved if their crops were in the field for too long and if the bread could not get baked on time. When Wiccans celebrate Lammas, they honor the hard work of their ancestors. Lammas is the time where one gives thanks for the abundant food and other bounties.
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