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Table of Contents
Lammas is a wheat festival celebrated at the start of harvest season which falls between August and September.
See the fact file below for more information on the Lammas or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Lammas worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Lammas is the first harvest festival of the year.
- It is an ancient festival of harvesting grains.
- Historically, the fresh wheat from the harvest is made into loaves of bread to be brought to church.
- Lammas day falls on August 1.
- Lammastide is the season around the Lammas holiday.
- The feast of Lammas is also called “The Feast of the First Fruits.”
- Lammas is celebrated in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
- It is celebrated by Christians, Pagans, and Neopagans.
- The celebration is a form of thanksgiving that the harvest season has arrived.
- Lammas is different from the Harvest Festival, which is celebrated at the end of the harvest season.
- Hlaefmass is the festival’s Old English name.
- To harvest grain before Lammas starts is bad luck in early Irish tradition.
Traditions in England
- In Anglo-Saxon England, it was believed that the loaf made from Lammas could be used for magic.
- According to an ancient Anglo-Saxon book of charms, lammas bread could be used for protecting grain. It must be broken into four parts and placed on the four corners of the barn where the grain is.
- The English were also obligated to give their first wheat harvest to their landlords no later than August 1.
- On August 1, they would bring their first harvest, also called first fruits, to the church to have them blessed.
- They could also bring it on August 6, which is The Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ.
- In Christian tradition, Lammas happens on the same day as the feast of the Liberation of St. Peter or more commonly known as “St. Peter in Chains.”
- After St. Peter in Chains had been removed from the Roman Calendar, Lammas coincides with the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori.
- The English and the Scottish used to call Lammas “the Gule of August”.
- The word “gule”, according to historian Ronald Hutton, comes from the Welsh word “Gŵyl Awst” which means “the feast of August”.
- Antiquarians such as John Brady and John Skinner analyzed where the word “lammas” came from and concluded that it came from “lamb mass”.
- Back when feudalism was practiced, agricultural laborers celebrated lammas as a result of hardwork and as fruits of their labor.
- Lammas was also the end of the hay harvest in medieval times.
Neopaganism & Lughnasadh
- Neopaganism refers to new religions derived from ancient pagan beliefs.
- Every year, Neopagans observe the Wheel of the Year.
- The Wheel of the Year is the annual cycle of four or eight festivals called sabbats.
- Lughnasadh is one of the sabbats and it corresponds with the English Lammas festival.
- Lughnasadh is pronounced loo-nass-ah.
- For Wiccans, it is one of the three autumn harvest festivals, the others being Samhain and Mabon.
- The word Lughnasadh was named after the sun god Lugh.
- Tailtiu, goddess of agriculture in Ireland, is Lugh’s foster mother.
- At this time, breads, apples, and berries are the common foods served.
Modern Ceremonies and Traditions
- Since Lugh was also known as a god of skills and craftsmanship, Lammas is celebrated through showcasing artisans’ works and crafts at festivals.
- Christians adapted the Scottish Highland Quarter Cake and make their own for Lammas but decorated with Christian symbols.
- Christians also do pilgrimages, a tradition believed to have come from the Lughnasadh tradition of mountain climbing.
- A popular pilgrimage in July is Reek Sunday, which is a climb to the peak of Croagh Patrick in Count Kerry.
- Tens of thousands of Christians go on the Reek Sunday trek each year.
- During Lammas season, also in Count Kerry, Puck Fair is held. It is one of the oldest fairs in Ireland.
- Other towns hold Lughnasadh festivals to match Puck Fair.
- When not in fairs and festivals, the Irish gather for intimate family reunions.
Other Deities and Symbols
- Lugh is not the only god of harvest time. Some of the other gods and goddesses include:
- Adonis – Greek god of grain
- Attis – Phrygian god of vegetation
- Ceres – Roman goddess of grain and agriculture
- Demeter – Greek goddess of harvest
- John Barleycorn is not a god, but a character in an English folk song signifying the crop barley. In the song, Barleycorn personifies what barley goes through from planting season up to harvest season.
Symbols of Lammas
- The following are symbols of Lammas:
- Summer and fall colors
- Sickles, scythes, and other agricultural tools
- Grain, corn, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, to signify the harvest
- Prayers for the Grain
Grapes and wine
Prayer for the Grain
Fields of gold,
waves of grain,
the summer comes to a close.
The harvest is ready,
ripe for threshing,
as the sun fades into autumn.
Flour will be milled,
bread will be baked,
and we shall eat for another winter.
How you can celebrate Lammas
- Showcase your creativity, skill, and craftsmanship in honor of sun god Lugh.
- Build a Lammas altar using the symbols of Lammas.
- Pray the above Lammas prayer.
- Make Lammas bread.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Lammas across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Lammas worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Lammas which is a wheat festival celebrated at the start of harvest season which falls between August and September.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Lammas Facts
- Lammas or Not
- I Spy In The Sky
- Lammas Word Search
- Different Faces of the Feast
- Spot the Symbols
- Lammas Ceremonies
- Sun God and Grain Goddess
- Other Gods
- Most Memorable Facts
- Celebration of Crafts
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Link will appear as Lammas Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 29, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.