As the seasonal Wheel of the Year turns, for those of us residing south of the equator, the festival of Lughnasadh is almost upon us. Taken from a Celtic word thought to mean “the commemoration of Lugh”, the Irish God associated with the sun and agriculture, the festival of Lughnasadh marked the funeral games that Lugh held in honour of his foster mother, Tailte, who died while clearing the Forest of Breg and making it a plain for cultivation. The modern day Telltown (Tailtean) in County Meath, Eire, is believed to have been named after Tailte.
Being the first of three harvest festivals, Lughnasadh is considered to be the festival of first fruits, where a blessing of the crop would take place as now was the time that apples were beginning to ripen on the trees, the summer vegetables being picked from the gardens, and the corn waiting to be harvested. The first harvests of grain, wheat and barley are also harvested around this time of the year (save for here in South Australia where such grain harvests often take place ain December, round mid summer). Continue reading “Lughnasagh – The Festival of the First Harvest”