Celebrating Lughnasadh (Lammas) by Gypsy Willowmoon

Lughnasadh or Lammas - is a Celtic festival celebrating the first harvest - when the first grains, fruit and corn would be ready to harvest.

As a family we grow our own vegetables and fruit in our garden: Gooseberries, rhubarb, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, potatoes, cabbages, lettuce, peas, cherries, squashes etc so we are very in tune with the seasons - Plus the children love helping and watching everything grow.

I use Lughnasadh as a time to reflect on the year, and to release things that are no longer working for me/us in life.

I thought it would be nice to share how we celebrate as a family...

With the children, I make a big batch of salt dough then cut it into batches. The children then have a choice of what they would like to make.... Either a salt dough Goddess/God, sunflowers, corn on the cob, fruit or altar decorations for the ritual, you can fill it with intention, use essential oils and or herbs etc. Let your imagination run wild - You could also use Fimo instead, which comes in a variety of colours.

A children’s altar & altar decorations for themselves (this altar only needs to be tea saucer size)

Once the dough has been baked, you can then choose to paint and varnish them, if you would like to keep them for longer.

We make bread, just using a basic bread recipe, you could add in herbs and spices to suit your needs/wants perhaps sunflower seeds to represent Lugh.

We go berry picking and make a fruit crumble with our yield, or fruit pies.

Something new I am trying this year with the girls, is a gratitude tub - everyday (or when they remember). They will write something that they are grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in the tub - to be opened and read out later in the year around the fire.

A letting go ritual - This is good for older children, write down what you are releasing or letting go from your life and throw it into the ritual fire. It doesn't have to be a big singing and dancing ritual. It can be as simple as the people joining in write on their paper and drop it into the fire whilst saying words of release meaningful to you.

Another Lughnasadh tradition that we have is a family feast, where we invite friends and family to bring a dish of their choice and join us for an evening of celebration, children's games such as tag, hide and seek etc.  We have a fire, music and possibly dancing too.

Being Irish, I tend to also make soda bread and white chocolate chip soda bread for the occasion.

Soda bread recipe for plain bread:

450g (16 oz) plain flour 

1 level teaspoon salt

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon chopped herbs (your choice) 

400ml (14 fluid oz) buttermilk

For white chocolate soda bread:

Add 75-100g (2 1/2 to 3 oz) of white or milk chocolate chips.

Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl, mix in herbs or chocolate chips, if using. 

Make a well in centre of bowl, pour in all buttermilk, stretch out fingers to a claw shape, and stir in a full circular motion from the centre of the bowl to the outside. 

Once combined, turn out onto well-floured surface, cut into rounds or shapes. 

Place onto a floured baking tray, bake at 250C/400F/gas mark 9 for 10 -20 mins depending on size. Turn down to 200C after 10 mins if already golden.

However you choose to celebrate enjoy!

)O( Gypsy Willowmoon Xx

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