August 1st or 15 degrees of Leo
This is the last of the four great fire festivals of the Wheel of the Year and is the first of three harvest festivals. This harvest celebration encompasses hay, grain, corn and cereal yields. It is best known for its festive atmosphere and temporary hand-fasting.
This is the festival of the Irish God Lugh. He is the God of all skills and games incorporating athletic prowess. He is the Bright and Shining One.
This is a time of joy and sadness. The sun and warmth is going out of the sky and waning into Winter and the growing season is winding down, but the cupboards are full of food and Winter stores. Corn dollies, symbolizing the Grain Goddess, are wound from wheat stalks and corn breads in the shape of the Grain God are baked in honor of his sacrifice.
Corn dolls are made from the last husks of the last corn stalk being harvested. It was believed that as the corn was harvested, the spirit of the corn would jump from one stalk to the next until it reached the last stalk. The farmers were very careful when cutting that last stalk of corn down for it was in that stalk that hid the spirit of the corn. In order to preserve that spirit, this last corn husk was made into a corn dollie where it reverently sat in a safe place of honor until it could be ploughed into the following years crops ensuring a good yield of corn the next harvest season.
Also Called- Lammas, Cornicopia, Thingtide, Half-mass, Grain Festival, Feast of Bread, Sports Festival.
Traditions– games, competitions, spear tossing, feasting, Olympic-like events temporary marriage (a year and a day), Lammas towers- fire building team competition aka kindling night, gathering golden pipes of Lleu- matricara, yellow trefoil for crowns; fencing and sword sports. Bake corn bread, visit wineries, sprout seeds to symbolize the resurrection of the Corn King. Decorate with sheaves of wheat and grain. Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant or tree with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Lord and Lady.
Symbols– wheat stalks- Lugh’s magic spear, loaves of bread, a spear, goldenpipes, scythe, sickle.
Foods- apples, breads, berries, all grains, grapes, crab apples, pears, fish, wine, poultry, fowl, no red meat, gruels, cakes, oatmeal, cookies, early corn, strawberries, black berries.
Herbs– heather, sloe, dandelion, aloe, rose, sandalwood, furze, marigold, oat straw, sunflower.
Colors- yellow, orange, red, brown
Deity- Lugh- ancient Celtic grain God who was sacrificed and resurrected to honor the harvest/Earth Mother Agusta; patron God of games and festivals.
Time of Day- Noon
Astrological Sign- Leo