|Honoring the First Harvest. Image from Asiya.|
Honor the harvest:
Lammas is the Fire Festival
By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | July 24, 2013
“Lord of the Harvest place your fire in me…”
Lammas, a Fire Festival also called First Harvest, Harvest Home, and Lughnasadh, may be celebrated on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, Thursday, August 1, 2013, or Friday, August 2, 2013. If at all possible, celebrate outdoors and have a fire burning.
You may use candles, or a cauldron, chiminea, barbeque pit, or grill. As long as it’s an open flame it will serve the purpose nicely. If you celebrate indoors, I recommend you include a cauldron in your table decorations and have charcoal tablets handy to ignite when your meal is concluded.
Decorations may include sickles, scythes, corn dollies, sun-wheels, bread, and fresh fruits and veggies. Use small brightly-colored notebooks and pens as placecards on your table. Your choice of colors may include red, gold, orange,yellow, bronze, citrine, gray, and green.
A pot-luck feast is most appropriate for this festival, as sharing food with others is a way to manifest prosperity in all its forms. Encourage your guests to bring whole-grain breads, locally-grown produce, summer squash, berry pies and cobblers, cornbread shaped like little ears of corn, ale, and fruit wine, and all you will need to prepare is roast lamb.
This celebration honors the harvest, honors Lord Sun, honors all grain goddesses such as Demeter and Freya. Begin your meal by asking each guest to break off a bit of bread and present it to his neighbor while saying “May you never go hungry” or “May food be always on your table” or a similar sentiment.
As your meal progresses, encourage your guests to tell or retell myths of grain goddesses, family stories about past harvest celebrations, memories of celebrating harvests. Keep the focus on the bounty of Mother Earth, the enjoyment of eating locally-grown foods, the delight in sharing food and companionship with friends. Make any toasts that seem appropriate, too.
At the conclusion of your feast ask your guests to use their notebooks and pens to write or draw symbols of whatever it is they regret from the previous 12 months. Burn these regrets in the ceremonial fire or on the charcoal tablets you ignite in your cauldron; as the smoke rises, the regrets are dissipated into the air, leaving only wisdom behind and a clear path ahead.
Any leftovers should be shared among your guests, making sure that no one takes home any of the food that person brought. If there are more leftovers than guests to take them home, it is strongly recommended to give those leftovers to the needy or the homeless.
It is considered taboo to keep your own uneaten contribution to the festivities. By sharing we generate energies that promote continuing prosperity.