Lughnasadh is usually celebrated on August 1 or 2 or in the first moon of Leo, depending on tradition.
The Basics of Lughnasadh
Also Called: Lammas - in American traditions;
Lughnasadh - Celtic traditions; Corucopia - Strega traditions;
Thingtide - Teutonic traditions.
The first of the harvest festivals, Lammas is recognized on August 2nd. The Celtic festival, Lughnasadh, is celebrated on August 7th in honor of the Sun God. It is the beginning of the harvest season and begins when the early plantings are ready to be picked. The spring grains, early fruits and vegetables are picked as part of this ritual.
Bread is baked for this holiday, as well as, a bounty of fruits and garden vegetables, set in an organization of color from white, yellow, red, green, blue and finally black. Set your alter accordingly with your favorite harvest, in a circle on a platter of your choice. We've found silver to be one of the better metals to use for these festivals, not just because of it's own beauty, but also because it reflects the color of the bounties' natural beauty. Where as the reflection of gold or brass can alter the natural color. Your setting might look something like this:
- White potatoes, sweet corn, orange carrots, strawberries, deep red radishes, celery, broccoli, blue berries and black berries, surrounded by leaves of parsley or lettuce. Canning should be a big part of this festival, preparing your home for fall. Use this wonderful energy to harvest your magickal herbs and empower them as part of your ritual.
Span the shades of yellow and green for your decorations. Harvest the late summer vegetables, grains and herbs. Any herbs that will be utilized during the coming years magickal rituals should be harvested on this day as well. Honoring the God/Goddess through their guise as the New Mother, Queen of Abundance and the deities of the Harvest are also called for on this day.
Begin the festival with a light "fall" cleaning. Change the linens around your home and alter(s), pull out the table cloths in the harvest colors, and clean or change the rugs in your entry way, kitchen or bathrooms. There are many ways to decorate home and hearth for each Sabbat, keeping the God/Goddess energy moving through your home throughout the year.
Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare baskets for harvesting your garden the next day. Baking wheat or corn bread for ceremonial offerings, along with preparing a tray of late summer vegetables and fruits.
Prepare your alter with gold and green candles, a yellow table cloth covered with wheat colored lace is also an attractive addition. Some witches include crystals of citrine and malachite. Gold or brass serving trays and goblets for ritual offerings are also placed on or around the alter for easy access. Arrangements of late summer flowers and ferns should also be included. After all, this is a harvest festival.
If your alter is outside or you have space on your interior alter, you might include baskets filled with examples of the summer harvest. Watermelon, cantaloupe, corn cobs, beans, carrots, potatoes, all placed upon stalks of wheat, lavender, sage and other herbs can be a nice touch.
There are several ways of conducting a ritual. Each witch should learn many different methods and then construct your own within the boundaries of the festival.