Lammas (Lughnasadh) 1st August

Lammas is the first of the Pagan Harvest festivals, traditionally when the first harvest from the fields was taken and the corn was cut. The reaping of the corn would begin here and would normally continue until Samhain. It is an old Celtic festival linked to the Celtic Irish god Lugh whose foster mother Tailtu died after clearing the plains of Ireland in myth. For the Celts Aenach Tailtean was a time of contests of skill and strength, a time for marriage contracts and the organising of winter lodgings. The Anglo-Saxons also celebrated at this time of year with the festival of Hlaefmass also known as loaf mass or Lammas. Farming has lost much of its importance in modern Britain but many Pagans still celebrate Lammas and it retains its connections with corn in the festivals rites. For some in the Irish community it August is seen as a good month for family reunions, in Switzerland 1st August is celebrated with bonfires which may be traced to the ancient celebrations of the iron age Helvetii people. Northern Italy also has similar celebrations.