Lammas (LAH-mas) is one of the greater sabbats that make up the pagan Wheel of the Year. It is typically celebrated on or around February 1st here in the Southern Hemisphere. Lammas is a celebration of the first harvest of the year and is all about Autumn/Fall and welcoming the coming season as we begin to transition out of Summer. This is the time of year we would typically see the first grains of the season harvested and as you will see grains and harvesting are a major motif/theme in this celebration (as well as many of the other pagan holidays).
Lammas is also know as Lughnasad (LOO-nah-sah) and it got that name because it was originally a festival to celebrate the Celtic Sun God, Lugh. More specifically, the God himself would hold this festivals to honour his late mother, the word Lughnasad roughly translates to the funeral games of Lugh. I will go into more detail about Lugh and his mythology in next weeks blog post.
At this time of year the Sun God has finished transferring all of his energy into the crop and the colder and darker days will begin to arrive as he continues to grow older. It was understood that around this time the grains that were being harvested held a certain sacredness to them. People would bake the first bread of the season with this harvested grain, which was then laid on the altar as an offering. This is how Lammas got its name, which can be translated to loaf-mass.
The Grain Mother is now fertile and heavy with child and represents the seeds that fall from the harvested crops that sew themselves into the Earth during the dark and cold months. These are the seeds that will bloom and make their reappearance during Imbolc in the springtime. Even though the God is growing older and approaching death he is also still alive as a child that is going to be born soon on Yule.
Lammas is a time for giving thanks to the abundance of the harvest that we have received and to look forward to what is to come in Autumn and Winter. We begin to see the fruits of our labour that we have been working on through the course of the year.
Lammas is often known as the “forgotten festival” and outside of the pagan community most people have probably never heard of it. When in fact it is one of the most important sabbats of all as it is all about appreciation, celebration, fulfillment and planning for the future.
Over the next two weeks as we approach Lammas I will be focusing heavily on and how it is celebrated with blog posts on deities, correspondence, spells, rituals and more. Be sure to follow The Aussie Witch on Instagram to stay updated.
The Aussie Witch.