Lammas | Celtic and Neo-Pagan Holiday, Lughnasadh, and Tailtiu – The Devil & The Dame

Lammas | Celtic and Neo-Pagan Holiday, Lughnasadh, and Tailtiu


Northern Hemisphere: Aug 1st
Southern Hemisphere: Feb 1st
Colors: Red, Yellow, Gold, Brown, Orange
Decor: Wheat stalks, Grains, Oats, Corn, Apples, and other summer veggies and fruits.

Lammas is the Neo-Pagan holiday celebrating the last few weeks of summer. This is actually an Anglo-Saxon festival to mark the annual what harvest. However, it is important to note that this founded after the Christianization of the area, so while this is a Germanic Tribe, it's not actually sacred to these particular pagans.


So How Did it Become Anlgo?

This is a very easy explanation. In literally every culture all over the world grain is a staple, even today. It's used in so many different ways and was the main way to overcome starvation in the colder months. Without it, villages would be wiped out. In Egyptian culture it signified the cycle of life and death and even today, the scythe, can be seen on many Gods and Goddess and other religious relics, such as the Santa Muerte and Cronus. This time of the year was everything and so it was highly respected. It only makes sense that it would be seen in Europe.



There is Lugh, the Celtic Master of Crafts, but he's more like the Roman's Mercury, not harvest. He is depicted with a ray of sunshine behind him and he does relate to making things, so... maybe, but it sounds more and more like a stretch. Now, there is lore that states his foster mother, Tailtiu who IS the Goddess of Agriculture. He was actually performing funeral rites after she died from exhaustion while plowing the fields for her people. It's also been suggested that this was more about the Goddess Eriu, who Lugh was intended to and during this time the older Kings would "marry the land" and look after her.

The other Germanic denominations don't have anything either. So, it sounds more and more like an accidental linguistic barrier. The name of the month was Lunasa, so both words do have a similar root and like with many pagan traditions, the months and pantheons were often likened to each other. The more and more I read about him, though, the more and more I believe it had little to do with him as opposed to what he did.

So... The Anglo's?

Now we're tackling how this became the celebration of a harvest and not the solemn funeral of Tailtiu. It was likely they people could sacrifice the first of their harvest to her by baking bread and hoping for a better harvest the remainder of the harvest season. This was later adopted by the Anglo-Saxon Christians and continued to be carried on by the Catholic Church on through the Protestant separation.

How to Celebrate Lammas:

Now that we've better understood where this name for the Celt Holiday came from, let's talk about celebration. We found out its actually a funeral and possibly a wedding. We know that many articles will tell us a happy time, but this seems far more like we should be thankful and humbled.
Break your bread and be thankful it came from the store and that there will be plenty more later. Drink some cider and be humbled by the fact that all of your ancestors are what made your life today through their seemingly small efforts and blight outlook, they worked and created. Invoke Lugh, or your pantheon's similar deity, and create beautiful corn dolls to represent your family. Create or purchase some beautiful wheat and corn decor. Hold a solemn ceremony and set out some bread for the Gods. If you're Norse or Germanic, like myself, pluck some sunflowers and mourn Baldr and start preparing for the coming harvest.
Here's a lovely video on how to create a corn dolly:
and another on how to weave wheat:

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