Lughnasadh is a Pagan holiday that celebrates the arrival of the late summer season and enjoying the abundance all around us right now.
The days are sticky hot, and you spend your time finding ways to cool down. Gardens and farmlands are ripe with veggies in shades of dark green and yellow. This is the beginning of the first harvest and primarily involves grain and corn. Although the sun is strong and hot, you’ll notice the days are beginning to shorten.
This season is lush and abundant, but Nature is already beginning to sense the coming of colder Winter days. So begins the days of preparation: gathering seeds to plant next Spring, harvesting herbs, canning jams and jellies, and baking bread to store for those cold days ahead.
It’s important to also understand that there is so much more to Lughnasadh and not just the literal interpretation of harvesting because you may not be farming your own fields.
This is a time for gratitude, personal growth, and renewal. The energy and intentions of Lughnasadh are still prevalent in the day-to-day lives of those who live a nature spirituality-based life.
Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins.
The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location. I created a complete guide to each season, including history, traditions, symbols, correspondences, ritual ideas, and how you can celebrate.
Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.
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When is Lughnasadh in 2022?
Lughnasadh begins on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere (February 1st in the Southern Hemisphere).
However, some prefer to celebrate around August 5th or 6th due to the position of the sun; this is often called Old Lammas. Lughnasadh is a cross-quarter holiday that celebrates the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.
Lughnasadh vs Lammas – What’s The Difference?
Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-nah-sah) is the first of three Pagan holidays celebrating the summer harvest.
This Gaelic festival derives its name from the Celtic god Lugh. Lughnasadh literally means Lugh’s Gathering.
Lammas is a Christian holiday celebrated on August 1st that means loaf-mass, which is referencing the bread in holy communion.
In the early English church it was kept as a harvest festival, when loaves of bread made from the new grain were consecrated. Its name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “loaf-mass.”
Gule is another name associated with August 1, which is also the date of the festival of St. Peter’s chains and the Celtic festival of Lugnasad.Britannica – Lammas
Lughnasadh Meaning, Traditions, and Why We Celebrate
It can be easy to overlook this holiday because it is the first of three harvest celebrations. Most of us don’t physically harvest anything much bigger than a garden, so it can be easy to disconnect ourselves from the process. However, take a moment to imagine what it would look like if the harvest did fail. If a natural disaster prevented our food from being shipped to the local markets. This is part of the gratitude and happiness of Lughnasadh.
We are already starting to see the fruits of our labor, and although it is important to rest, this is not the time for laziness or procrastination! Now is when we gather our strength and push through these final days of the summer season to protect ourselves, our homes, and our loved ones. Turn to the hot energy from the sun for inspiration. Although its strength is decreasing, it is still radiating fierce bright energy.
How To Celebrate Lughnasadh in 2022
Pagan holidays just aren’t complete without a proper celebration. Lughnasadh honors abundance and our hard work paying off. Honor this energy within your soul by honoring these spiritual intentions.
Bake Bread From Scratch
Ok, I know you’re thinking, “that’s not a very original suggestion,” but hear me out. Be creative and mix it up!!
- Try a new recipe from Pinterest (Like this one from The Wondersmith – Goldenrod Cornbread To Hail Harvest Season and Dispel Melancholy)
- Add different herbs or flowers (lavender, rosemary, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, berries, etc)
- Beer bread mix – my sister-in-law got this for me over the holidays, and it was so easy, fun to make, and tasted yummy! I just added beer!
- Have you ever tried those seafood biscuits from Red Lobster? So yummy! Make your own cheddar garlic drop biscuits at home! So delicious and easy! Try adding different herbs as well! (I use this Cheese Garlic Bisquick recipe)
- Braid your bread
- Make an herbal or honey cinnamon butter to add to your bread
- Muffins (maybe lemon blueberry? Cinnamon apple or peach? Huckleberry or raspberry?)
- Popcorn is a gluten-free option, and there are so many ways to create your own unique flavors and combinations
Don’t have a garden? Shop local at your farmer’s market! A lot of them have bread made from scratch if you aren’t interested in making your own! You could also try visiting a local U-pick farm. Berries and peaches are typically in season this time of year!
I love using solar energy to make Sun Tea! You could also make fresh lemonade from scratch! Mint is really abundant right now and makes for a refreshing addition!
- Go for a walk or a hike! The earliest Lughnasadh pagan celebrations involved the Celts hiking up hills to bring an offering to Lugh. I typically like to do this in the early morning hours before it gets too hot.
- Walk through fields, orchards, or a local park and think about the bounty nature provides to all of us!
- Go for a swim at any nearby water (lake, ocean, creek, pond, etc) or float down a lazy river!
- If I can find a quiet enough spot, I like to bring a blanket and meditate. I focus on feeling and acknowledging the seasonal wheel and how it’s currently turning to a new phase.
- Go camping! The more remote, the better because…..people.
- Stargazing is truly a wonderful way to connect to your spiritual side. It really makes you feel so tiny! Make sure to go somewhere you can avoid the city lights. You can even download an app (my favorite is Star Walk) to help you identify constellations and any planets. Also, watch for meteors or tumbling satellites!
Such a fun way to be involved with what you consume! I love making garlic refrigerated pickles, freezing peaches, making jam, and stocking up on berries! Try making some herbal soup rings!
Now is also a great time to start thinking about Yule and the holidays. Homemade gifts are the best, and some tinctures and infusions take a few months to be ready.
Donate To Your Local Food Bank
A wonderful way to be grateful for all you have is to donate to those who do not. This would also be a wonderful tradition to share with your children!
You can also donate time or money to a non-profit or charity you’re passionate about!
Make Sangria From Scratch
With so much fruit and herbs in abundance right now, you’ll have plenty of options for some tasty twists! You could also try brewing mead during June’s Full Mead Moon and enjoy it now.
Have a Picnic Feast
What better way to enjoy all of nature’s bounty than to share it with loved ones? Make it unique or make everything from scratch. You could host a picnic in the park or have them over for a meal in your home!
My personal favorite is to have a picnic in our backyard. It’s so fun, and most of the time, it’s just my hubby, me, and our cats. We also have a fire-pit (this is a fire festival after all) if we have company and the party continues into the evening.
Simple Ritual Ideas For Lughnasadh and Lammas
If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, simply go outside and enjoy the sun. Take a few minutes during your lunch break or over the weekend. It’s okay if it’s not exactly on the holiday of Lughnasadh, remember to enjoy the whole season, not just one day!
Lugh was legendary to the Celts as a god of artistry and talents. He was gifted in many unique skills. Why not use this time to expand on your creative endeavors during these pagan holidays?
- Work on your hobbies or any skill you are talented at!
- Sketch out something that inspires you! I personally loved to draw mandalas! You could also try your hand at some bind runes or sigils.
- Be vulnerable! Try a new hobby out that you’ve been hesitant to try. You never know what creative boundaries you might break through!
Decorate Your Space
Decorate your home, bedroom, or altar with anything that represents this time of year for you and what you value. Use the correspondence lists below for ideas! My favorite flower to use for Lughnasadh is sunflowers or lavender!
The simplest way to deepen your spiritual practice is to truly be thankful for what you have. This includes every aspect of your life: food, a home, family, friends, lovers, children, personal accomplishments, career goals, your health, etc.
Sit down and make a giant list! Add it to your Book of Shadows or Grimoire. I also think it’s lovely to include what you’ve harvested or manifested this year.
Create Your Own Wicker Man
Channel your inner Christopher Lee and craft your own wicker man and place any bad habits you’d like to quit inside of him. Burn it safely in a fire pit or fireplace.
**Bonus points for watching The Wicker Man (I prefer the 1973 British folk horror film with Christopher Lee, obviously).
Meditate with Candles and Crystals
Another simple Lughnasadh ritual is to meditate alone with candles and/or crystals. You can choose colors that correspond with this holiday or any of your choice that you feel called to. This is a lovely time to celebrate the sunlight.
I love ritual baths! I’ll admit during the warmer months, I rarely partake, but it’s still a lovely way to celebrate. Include crystals, flowers, herbs, candles, bath bombs, or spiritually personal items.
You could also include music or binaural beats you find comforting or spiritually engaging. Afterward, you could have a self-care evening and do a Mani, Pedi, or facial.
Go For a Drive
This is my absolute favorite way to celebrate spiritually this time of year. I live in Idaho, and we have many back roads full of farmland that are awesome to casually drive through.
When the sun is starting to set, I put on an outfit I feel comfortable in, and throw on my sunglasses. I roll all the windows down in my car, blast my favorite music, and sing at the top of my lungs. Dance moves included.
The farmland crops smell amazing, and the cool breeze brushes my face and flows through my hair. Sometimes I park next to a river or lake and listen to the crickets chirp and the bees buzzing as they race the sun to finish up their busy bee day.
It is absolutely magical! Sometimes I bring a snack, drink or my hubby…sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the mood is happy, and sometimes it’s chill. Either way, I feel it straight to my soul.
Lughnasadh and Lammas Correspondences
Lughnasadh correspondences are helpful when creating an altar, doing ritual work, meal planning, or decorating your home for the holiday. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but do not let this list limit you. Feel free to incorporate ANY correspondences that resonate with you!
- Fruition of goals
- Gathering / Harvesting
- Give / Donate / Share
- Thankful / Grateful
- Light Brown
- Dark Purple
(typically anything in season at this time)
- Wheat / Grains / Bread
- Corn on the cob
- Berries (great in jams, pies, or ice cream)
- Squash / Zucchini
Flowers and Trees
- Apple tree
Incense, Candles, and Scents
- The Sun
Crystals, Stones, and Metals
- Tiger’s Eye
Lughnasadh and Lammas Journal Prompt Ideas
It can be tough to find the time to connect with the natural world around us, especially if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Lughnasadh journaling prompts will help you connect with the season, recharge your batteries, and get in touch with your innermost thoughts and feelings.
- Take a moment to engage all five of your senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight) while thinking about what you enjoy this time of year (fuzzy warm ripe peaches, cool water on your skin on a hot day, grilled hot dogs, lavender blooming in your garden, bees buzzing happily nearby, etc.). Also, reflect on what activities you love most right now: picnics in the park, backyard parties with loved ones, floating down a lazy river, stargazing, swimming at a local lake or waterpark, or gardening. Make a reminder to reflect on these wonderful times during the chilly dark days of Winter Solstice.
- During Lammas and Lughnasadh, the first harvest is typically grain. Do you have any special bread recipes you like to create this time of year?
- Write a letter or thank you note to a friend or loved one! This time of year is all about abundance and harvesting what we’ve sown, literally or metaphorically. Take a moment to let those who add joy to your life know how grateful you are!
- Write down any recipes, infusions, or herbal creations you’d like to create with in-season, herbs, flowers, and veggies.
- Press any flowers, herbs, or leaves you may have from your garden or collected on a nature walk and put those in your book. You could also use them as a stamp by painting one side and pressing it onto the journal or grimoire page
- August’s Full Moon is the Sturgeon Moon – talk about the history, meaning, and how you celebrate.
- What abilities or skills are you talented at? How can you use them to give back to loved ones or those who need them in your community?
- Reflect and write about how old beliefs and folklores influence modern traditions today
- Contemplate this last year and how you have grown spiritually so far. What goals did you create for yourself during the winter months? Did you accomplish them? Why or why not? What will you do differently next year?
- Write down 3 words that best describe this time of year. Better yet, use them to write a poem!
- What’s an important quote to you right now?
- Take a walk outside and pay attention to nature in her current state. Write about signs you’ve observed indicating Summer is fading, and Autumn is on its way.
- What are your top 3 priorities in life, and how are you putting them first? If you aren’t, how will you start doing so?
- What can you do to develop and deepen your spirituality and take it to the next level?
- Write down any rituals you like to do or participate in for Lammas or Lughnasadh
- Now is a great time for a “beach read” fictional book that’s just for fun and pleasure! What’s on your list to read?
- What advice would you give yourself 6 months from now? 12 months?
- What’s one big goal you’d love to accomplish before Autumn is here? What’s standing in your way? What fears do you have about it? How can you crush and overcome your fears and accomplish your dreams?
- Now is a time of prosperity! What do you have in abundance right now you’re grateful for? What can you do to show your gratitude or give back?
- When do you feel most connected to Nature/ The Universe/ God / Goddesses / Deity? What can you do to bring more of that into your daily life?
- Write down 5 books you’d like to read to help you develop, grow or educate yourself on a topic you’d love to know more about. Next to each book, note what you are hoping to learn and why. Commit to reading them and write down a realistic goal as to when.
- Summer is closely aligned with the mother phase of the Triple Goddess. Spend time writing, studying, and reflecting on that. What impression comes to your mind with you think of the mother phase? How does it impact you? What deities or goddesses reflect this stage or chapter to you?
Other Posts You May Find Interesting:
- Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan Symbols
- Brigid Goddess and Her Beautiful Celtic History
- Beginner Witch: Everything You Need To Know
- Types of Fae – Discover Their Folklore and Magic
I hope this article about Lughnasadh was helpful! Lots of love to you and remember as always…