On August 1st, many parts of the world will be celebrating the first of 3 harvest festivals called Lammas or Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-nass-ah).
The purpose of this festival is to give gratitude for the abundance of grain, fruits, and vegetables. Although we're in the middle of summer, the grain harvest at this time of year was once considered vital to our survival in the winter. Because if this, bread and special cakes are often baked and shared with others.
If you don't belong to a farming family, then you may be too far removed from what it's truly like to depend on what you grow or raise to completely sustain you in the dark winter months. We have machines to do our washing, weaving, and harvesting. Now, getting food means going to the market instead of putting in the sweat equity to harvest it ourselves.
Lughnasadh is the Irish version of this festival and incorporates gratitude to the Sun god Lugh who governs the Sun and crafting or practical skills. Giving thanks to the Sun and all it allows us to enjoy is another part of the festival.
To celebrate, you can bake cookies, bread or make corn dollies. If you'd like to make a seasonal alter, then colors associated with Lammas/Lughnasadh are red, yellow, and gold. It can be decorated with fruits, bread, or vegetables. Spending some time in nature meditating or giving thanks are all wonderful ways to reconnect with the earth and her bounty.