Lughnasadh is the first of the harvest festivals and is most associated with “grape and grain”, bread and wine are synonymous with this celebration. Lughnasadh is also known as Lammas, or Loaf Mass as this is the time of year when the wheat, corn and barley are ready to be harvested and made into bread, cakes, and pies. It is the time when the vineyards are ready to be made into wine. Aside from making bread, drinking wine (only if you are of age) there are lots of things you can do to mark this festival.
Baking Bread – Bakingbread is a central part of traditional Lughnasadh festivals. I like to make the braided bread with a touch of garlic butter, but that is just me.
Making Wine – If you are legally allowed you can try your hand making wine. There are a plethora of kits online that help you make wine, ale, or mead.
Local Produce Markets –Many farmers markets sell locally grown produce means you can get great tasting food and support your local economy. I am lucky enough to live in a rural town surrounded by farms and the bounty of local fare is amazing.
Gather Herbs and Flowers – Nature is abundant, and you can find edible or magical plants in the wild spaces around you. Remember not to trespass on private property or ask permission before collection. Research what plants you have in your region that are edible, magical properties and possible poisonous plants and trees. This information benefits your magical knowledge and can also be added to your Book of Shadows.
Your Garden – If you have a garden then it is no doubt in full bloom. Knowing what plants surround you in the wild and knowing what is in your garden and tending to your plants can help you connect to the energies of Lughnasadh. Harvest any herbs, flowers or plants that are in season.
Enjoy the Sun – Even though the strength of the sun has begun to wane, that does not mean you cannot enjoy it still. This time of year is often known as the “dog days of summer” because the Greek and Romans believed that when Sirius is alongside the Sun, and the days are the hottest of the year. The sun is also considered a powerful aspect of Lughnasadh. Icons, ornaments, pictures, colors of candles, ribbons and cloths that represent the sun are yellow, orange, and gold, can be used to represent the Sun.
Feasting – This time of year is often a time when people gather and have a good time. In my family it is BBQ season. Food and drink that are associated with Lughnasadh include: bread, corn, pies, pastries, grapes, wine, ale, mead, beer, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, crab-apples, pears, garlic, onions, nuts. Herbal teas, smoothies and juices are also popular
Making Preserves – This is the time of year when my Nan would begin making the first jams and other preserves of the year. Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Kiwis Peaches and Strawberries are in season and ready for jam making.
Creating Corn Dollies – Make figures from the husks of corn (sweetcorn) which represent the harvest time.
Incense, Herbs, and Flowers – The herbs that are associated with Lughnasadh are: Basil, Frankincense, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Apple leaf, Blackthorn, Clover, Heather, Ivy, Peony, Marigold, Sunflower, Vervain, and Yarrow. Making incense and drying these herbs are a way to celebrate this time of year. One of the ways I mark this festival is with flowers which include: Roses, Peony Sunflower, Calendula, and Heather.
Creating an Altar – Lughnasadh stands on the backs of both Summer and Autumn and the colors associated are fiery reds, oranges and yellows which capture the sun’s power and the coming of the Autumn. However you can also have greens and browns which represent the earth and harvest being collected. Personally I like to use golds as they remind me of the rolling gold fields of wheat which are being harvested at the moment. Cover your altar in a cloth (or cloths) that you think symbolizes this change of season. Rich colors are very good to mix with greens and golds.
Handfastings – Some choose Lughnasadh for their handfasting as it is a time of gratitude.
Showing Gratitude – Being grateful for everything you have in your life whether it be big or small.
Donate to Charity – Sharing what you have or donating what you no longer need to charity.
Have a Bonfire – Gather friends and family around a bonfire to celebrate the last of the longest days of summer
Create a Besom – Make a besom from wheat stalks to cleanse your home and magical spaces.
Add to your Book of Shadows – adding information about Lughnasadh and how you can or do celebrate this festival. You can add bread, preserves, cakes, or pie recipes.
I hope you all have a blessed Lughnasadh
Rainbow Love, Light and Blessings