Also known as Lughnasadh, this Sabbat marks the beginning of the harvest festivals, Its name comes from the god Lugh, or Lieu, and is held on August 1. The god Lugh ties in with the fairy race of the Tuatha De Danann and is the father of Chu Chulainn, the warrior-hero. He is a god of many skills and possessor of potent magicks; he is a good wielder of weapons, a wise ruler and a fine teller of tales. Lughnasadh is one of the four “greater” Sabbats which are geared toward seasonal, rather than solar changes.
The name Lammas comes from the Anglo-Saxon “hlaf-mas”, a celebration honoring grain, the main staple of life. Wheat, oats, rice and corn may all be honored. Grain is the manifestation of the Green Man, also known as the Fool of the Tarot. Grain symbolizes ancestry, and forms a link to the past – the unbroken chain in the cycle of life: a grain from thousands of years ago, when planted, will bear the same fruit that we see today, and vice versa. Modern Witches who are more scientifically oriented feel that the grain is symbolic of DNA.
Lammas is a holiday of transformation. Breads and beer/wine represent the mystery of transformation through the application of fire. In turn, the oven is interpreted as the womb – the life-giving, nurturing element of the female principle. Women once performed their devotions in front of the oven.
Brewing and baking are the best ways to celebrate this holiday. Cheers!