Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating Lughnasadh, along with a re-dedication to the craft. I like to do this every now and then to reaffirm my faith and love for the Goddess and God.
Lughnasadh, celebrated on either the 1st or 2nd of February here in Australia, is a celebration of harvest. As one of the eight Sabbats in the Year, it’s a Celtic harvest festival, and takes its name from the Irish god Lugh, one of the chief gods of the Tuatha De Danaan. The first harvest of the year, where it’s also symbolised as the God sacrificing part of himself to nourish us.
Although some believe the seasons are late here in Australia, as the heat of summer has finally graced us, I will still be keeping to tradition. Lughnasadh marks the begining of the noticeable descent of the Sun into the darkness of winter. From the connection between the Earth and Sun, the marriage of the Sky Father (Sun God) with Mother Earth (which is celebrated at Beltaine), emerge the fruits of the first harvest of the year. It’s a time of joy about the first fruits, as well as a time of tension, because the dark days of winter are coming nearer, and most of the harvest is not brought in and stored away yet.
The God of the harvest is the Green Man. He sacrifices himself every year in order to enable human life on Earth. In some areas his death is mourned with wreaths decorated with poppies or cornflowers.
The grain is cut, part of it goes into bread and nutrition, another part is stored away and used as seeds next spring, to create new life. Looking at that, thoughts about sacrifice, transformation, death and rebirth are also part of Lughnasadh.