Lammas Celtic Festival of Autumn

This was a feast dedicated celebrating Lugh the sun god, with a sacrifice of the fruits of the soil.

A celebration of the first harvest and abundance.

John Barleycorn gives his life to nourish as bread and as seed for the next harvest.

Christian tradition of the Loaf Mass – the first loaf of the harvest was taken to church to be blessed.

Traditions included fairs, bonfires and handfasting where couples would marry for a year and a day and if it didn’t work out the bond could be dissolved.

In Orkney couples could handfast and then dissolve their union by declaring their intention to part by leaving by different doors at Stennis church. There was no shame involved and any children born would stay with the father.

The Lammas bannock was later associated with the Virgin Mary.

(Feast of the Immaculate Conception 15th August)

Ideally the grains for that would be cut, dried and baked on the same day.