Lughnasadh: First Fruits
❤🍎Happy Harvest! We're celebrating the halfway point between Midsummer (summer solstice) and Mabon (fall equinox) here in the Northern Hemisphere. Lammas, aka Lughnasadh (loo-nahs-ah) means “August” in old Irish, and this Sabbat celebrates Lugh, the Celtic Sun God. It’s also nicknamed the Festival of First Fruits.
In fact, many cultures currently have (or had) similar celebrations of various deities linked to grains. These include the Native American Festival of Green Corn, which honors Corn Grandmother, the ancient Roman festivals that honored Ceres and Vulcan, the ancient Phoenician festival that honored Dagon, and the ancient Egyptian birthday celebration of the sun goddess Isis.
All of these influences have melded into modern pagan traditions. Today it’s common to prepare grains with family recipes for bread, cornbread, popcorn balls, cakes, fruit pies, and pastries, and to preserve fruits and veggies in family canning recipes. There’s also the fun of creating feast centerpieces, front porch décor, and door swatches of corn and corn stalks.
Here in the Midwest, we’re harvesting zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, and blueberries for homemade jams, sauces, pickles, and pies. My grandma loved to bake blackberry pie with a Brigid’s cross in the center, and to gift zucchini bread with jars of corn relish and dill pickles to her neighbors.
I like to think all of these harvest festivals were always simply neighbors sharing their over-abundance. It’s a pretty universal moment when someone shows up with an armload of tomatoes and zucchini, “Please, I don’t know what to do with all of these!”
Author of The Recollection of Trees book series. Fifth generation intuitive. Kitchen witch. she/her.