About Lughnasa

Billberries are a traditional part of Lughnasa
Billberries are a traditional part of Lughnasa

Lughnasa can also be spelt Lugnasad, Lughnasadh, and Lúnasa.  It is also known as Lammas Day, Garland Sunday, Domhnach Chrom Dubh, and Bilberry Sunday.

Lughnasa is one of the four seasonal feastivals of the Celtic calendar, as well as Samain (1 November), Imbolc (1 February) and Beltaine (1 May).

Lughnasa is primarily a harvest festival celebrating the ripening of the crops. The festival was established by Lug as funeral games in honour of his foster-mother, Tailtiu in Brega, Co. Meath with contests of chariot racing and wrestling.  She was said to have died of exhaustion clearing the forests of Ireland for farming.  Later Lughnasa celebrations expanded to other parts of the country and to include additional events, such as bardic poetry and music contests.  This was also the time for retelling or re-enacting the events of Lug’s life.

Trial marriages could be arranged at these festivals.  In these couples joined hands through a hole in a door. The trial marriage lasted a year and a day, and so could be confirmed as permanent or broken without consequence at the next Lughnasa festival.

Keeping to the ways of Lughnasa

It is traditional to share bread made from the first grains harvested and the apples of the season at Lughnasa.  Slice some apple or freshly made bread and pass it around in a circle.  Each person takes a slice and passes it to their left (clockwise).  As they pass it to their neighbour, they say “I offer you the first fruits of the harvest, share them with me in fellowship, and let us together thank nature for this bounty.”

Samhain is one of the eight Celtic festivals celebrated by us.

These are open to all and you and your family are welcome to attend.
Check the calendar for this year’s date.

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