The Lughnasadh and Lammas Pagan holidays celebrates the Wheel of the Year and the arrival of the late summer season!
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 posts on this site may contain affiliate links
When is Lughnasadh or Lammas?
It usually begins on July 31st at sundown and continues through August 1st until sundown in the northern hemisphere ( January 31st through February 1st in the southern hemisphere). However some prefer to celebrate around August 5th or 6th due to the location of the sun, this is often called Old Lammas . This is a cross quarter sabbat that celebrates the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.
What is the Difference Between Pagan Holidays Lammas and Lughnasadh?
Lughnasadh (which is typically pronounced LOO-nah-sah) is the first of three Pagan holidays that celebrate the harvest of summer.
The name comes from Ireland and derives its name from the Celtic god Lugh. It literally means Lugh’s Gathering. In England, this celebration was called Lammas which means loaf-mass.
Lammas Meaning, Traditions, and Why We Celebrate Pagan Holidays
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. Now is when we gather our strength and push through these final days of the summer season to protect ourselves, homes, and loved ones. Turn to the hot solar energy from the sun for inspiration. Although it’s strength is decreasing, it is still radiating hot bright energy
How To Celebrate Lammas and Lughnasadh
BAKE BREAD FROM SCRATCH
Ok I know you’re thinking, well that’s not a very original suggestion but hear me out. Be creative and mix it up!!
- Try a new recipe from Pinterest
- 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!
- 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 combination
Don’t have a garden? Shop local at your farmers 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 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 holidays celebration 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 us all.
- 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 wheel of the year 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!
PRESERVE FOODS AND MAKE JAMS/JELLIES
Such a fun way to be involved with what you consume! I love making garlic refrigerated pickles, freezing peaches 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!
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 the Mead Moon and enjoy it now.
HAVE A PICNIC FEAST
What better way to enjoy all of nature’s bounty that to share it with loved ones? Make it unique and do 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 if we have company and the party continues into the evening.
Simple Ritual Ideas For Lughnasadh and Lammas Pagan Holidays
PRIORITIZE YOUR CREATIVITY
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 is to add sunflowers around my home!
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 harvest or manifested this year.
CREATE YOUR OWN WICKER MAN
Craft your own wicker man and place any bad habits you’d like to quit inside of him. Burn it in a fire-pit.
MEDITATE WITH CANDLES AND CRYSTALS
Another simple lammas 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 light.
I love baths! I’ll admit that 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. I also like to include music or binaural beats that I find comforting or spiritually engaging. Afterwards you could also have a spa night 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 that are awesome to drive down. 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. I smell all the wonderful crops and feel the cool breeze on my face. Sometimes I park next to a river or lake and listen to the crickets chirp and the bees buzzing, racing 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
- 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
- Oak tree
- Apple tree
INCENSE, CANDLES AND SCENTS
- The Sun
CRYSTALS, STONES AND METALS
- Tiger’s Eye
Lughnasadh and Lammas Pagan Holidays Journal Prompt Ideas
- 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, and bees buzzing happily nearby). 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.
- 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 the signs you observed that Summer is ending and Autumn is on its way.
- What are your top 3 priorities in life and how are you going to put them first?
- 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 like to give yourself 6 months from now? 12 months?
- What is one last 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 them to accomplish your dreams?
- Now is a time of prosperity. What do you have in abundance right now that you are 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. Beside each one, 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 goddess reflect this stage or chapter
You can check out more of the Pagan Holidays series here:
Yule & Winter Solstice
- Pagan Yule Log History, Decoration, and Traditions
- 6 Pagan Yule and Winter Solstice Decoration Ideas
- Yule and Winter Solstice – Traditions, How To Celebrate, Rituals, & Decoration Ideas
- Yule Winter Solstice Grimoire and Book of Shadows Journal Prompts
- DIY Yule Winter Solstice Holiday Tree Ornaments
Midwinter & Imbolc
- Imbolc – History, Traditions, Correspondences, and Simple Ritual Ideas
- Imbolc and Midwinter Journaling Prompts For Spiritual Meaning
- Spring Equinox – History, Traditions, Correspondences, and Simple Ritual Ideas
- Spring Equinox Ritual Ideas For Ostara and Decorating With Eggs
Summer Solstice & Litha
- Litha Meaning, History, Correspondences, Celebration, and Grimoire Prompts
- Enchanting Flower and Herb Spread
Samhain & Halloween
- Samhain – How To Celebrate, Meanings, Correspondences, and A History
- Samhain Grimoire or Wiccan Book of Shadows Writing Prompt Ideas
Enjoy your Lammas and Lughnasadh Pagan holidays ! Lots of love to you and remember as always…