Merry Lammas everyone! So just like the Summer Solstice I will be posting some traditional celebration that Pagans would do to make this day even better (incense, colors, food, etc.). Since I have no idea as to what Lammas is about or required, I'll be using the information given by Doug and Sand Kopf to help give an explanation for this sacred day. Don't forget to put important information in your Book of Shadows and, with out any more delay, let's get started!
It was on a Lammas night,
When corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
I held away to Annie:
The time flew by, wi tentless heed,
Till 'tween the late and early;
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed
To see me thro' the barley.
The sky was blue, the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly;
I set her down, wi' right good will,
Amang the rigs o'barley
I ken't her heart was a' my ain;
I lov'd her most sincerely;
I kissed her owre and owre again,
Among the rig o' barley.
I locked her in my fond embrace;
Her heart was beating rarely:
My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o'barley.
But by the moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She ay shall bless that happy night,
Amang the rigs o'barley.
I hae been blythe wi' Comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear;
I hae been happy thinking:
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
Tho three times doubl'd fairley
That happy night was worth then a'.
Among the rig's o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie:
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Among the rigs wi' Annie.
You will notice, after reading this article, that the authors celebrated Lammas on July 31. Usually Lammas is celebrated August 1, but it can run about July 31-August 2, it just mainly needs to be around the end of July and the beginning of August. The authors also mentioned Handfasting, a term that I don't believe any of you are familiar with, but my next post will explain it, so do not worry! Now that we've covered the necessary information for Lammas Traditions, we'll get started on the kind of foods you should eat, colors you should wear, all that fun stuff!
Lammas Food and Decorations
Traditional foods for Lammas include the fruits and vegetables peaking in late summer to early fall. However, primary emphasis falls on grains and things made from grains. Meat does not really figure into the usual Lammas fare — though you may serve some if you wish — so this holiday is ideal for vegetarians. You can find Lammas recipes online or in cookbooks such as Cooking To The Wheel of the Year or The Farmer’s Market Cookbook: Seasonal Dishes Made from Nature’s Freshest Ingredients. Plan your potluck feast in advance and enjoy some Lammas recipes from Fieldhaven.
Grains form the mainstay of Lammas food, especially wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Whole, cracked, or rolled grains appear in stuffings and other dishes. Bread and other foods made from grains also stand out on a Lammas table. Kneading and baking bread is a traditional Lammas activity.Sweet corn technically comes from a grain (corn is a grass) but is eaten as a vegetable. Yellow or white corn is best for this holiday, especially if you’re tying into to the Native American “Green Corn Festival” holidays. Sweet corn begins converting sugar to starch as soon as it leaves the stalk. This suggests an interesting relay race: The first bunch of people yank the ripe ears off the stalks and run to the shuckers, who shuck the ears as fast as possible then hand them off to the next folks who run them to the kitchen, where cooks dunk them straight into pots of boiling water.
Seasonal fruits include anything ripe at this time, most notably blackberries. The earliest “dessert” apple and pear varieties also ripen in early August; these are not for storage or canning, but are sweet delicate fruits intended to be eaten immediately. Serve them by themselves, in fruit salads, or sliced with crackers and a sharp cheese such as aged white cheddar.
Alcoholic beverages figure into many Lammas myths. Chief among these are beer and ale, which come from grains. Fruit wines, such as blackberry or elderberry wine, celebrate the dark fruits of late summer. However, some versions of Lammas tie into the wine gods and the worship of grapes. Mead, made from summer honey, also appears in Lammas festivals. For safety’s sake, serve alcohol in moderation, after food — and make sure that designated drivers are available.
Lammas Decoration Ideas
Your decorations should support and enhance your theme. One strong motif with variations will usually work better than unrelated motifs all competing with each other. For more ideas, flip through books such as Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest and Sabbat Entertaining: Celebrating the Wiccan Holidays with Style.
Colors: Gold and yellow predominate, the colors of grain. Brown, tan, and white also play in. Other food colors — such as tomato red, leaf green, and berry purple — may be appropriate. For a Lughnassadh ritual, consider bronze and gold, the colors of Lugh.
Incense: Corn and safflower both tie into the grain theme. Rose hips bring another seasonal reference, as roses are in fruit at this time. Frankincense and sandalwood relate to spirituality. You can also make your own incense or essential oil blends inspired by online recipes.
Music: Lammas music is harvest music, heavy on the beat, so drums are especially appropriate. Strings, especially harps and guitars, are also popular as people sing along to them. Consider seasonal songs like Lammas Leaves and The Lammas Tide or albums such as Circle of the Seasons, A Garland Of Song, The Music of Gwydion, and The Wheel of the Year: Thirty Years with the Armstrong Family.
Altar tools for Lammas have an emphasis on blades, particularly the sickle or bolline, but also the athame. You may also want to make corn dollies or corn-husk dolls for altar decoration or for use in ritual.
Grain sheaves characterize the harvest season. Wheat sheaves are bundles of wheat set upright for collection. Corn tipis are made from cut corn stalks after the ears have been removed, stacked together in a cone.
Cornucopia is a horn-shaped basket filled with autumn fruits and vegetables. It means “horn of plenty” and represents the abundance of the harvest season. Earth goddesses and gods sometimes carry one as a symbol of their power.
I hope everyone has a great Lammas! If you have any questions, feel free to comment them below! Blessed be!
Information for this post came from http://www.cyberwitch.com/Wychwood/Temple/lammas.htm and http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/lammas.html. When celebrating Lammas, make sure that you act responsibly and don't have too much fun.