The first of three harvest festivals (the others being Mabon and Samhain), today we pause to celebrate our first fruits and first grains: all that we’ve brought forth and accomplished thus far in this yearly cycle.
While the later harvest festivals are moving toward fall, we are still in the full vibrance of summer. In many parts of the world, the meadows and grain fields are still green, and the fruit is still ripening on the trees and vines.
Lughnasadh is a time to honor and magnetize abundance: the full flowering of summer brings us food and other blessings as the wheel moves ever closer to the harvest’s full fruition.
Even celebrating this holiday in a small way can align you with the natural world and open you up to all the beauty and blessings this life has to offer. With this in mind, here are five little ritual ideas for your personal Lughnasadh celebration.
If ever a song captured the essence of Lughnasadh, it’s George Gershwin’s masterpiece: Summertime. (Summertime and the livin’s easy/fish are jumpin/and the cotton is high.) Find a version you like. Then make your favorite summery cocktail. Finally, relax, listen, and expand into the energy of the holiday. (I like this one by Janis Joplin and this one by Billy Stewart.)
The alternate name for this holiday, Lammas, is derived from “Loaf Mass,” when the first grains of the season were honored and baked into bread. Bake something yummy and send good vibes into it as you do. Then eat (and possibly share) with a feeling of gratitude for all that you’ve accomplished, all that you have, and all the beautiful blessings of the earth.
Traditionally, a way of expressing gratitude for the abundant bounty of Mother Earth is to offer the first of the crop right back to Her. In turn, this multiplies your own wealth and ensures a successful harvest, as what you send out comes back to you multiplied. And everything is energy, remember! So right along with the bowl of barley or oats, offer a generous helping of love and appreciation.
Lughnasadh is also a festival of first fruits. So go to your local farmer’s market and select some super ripe, super fresh, local fruit. Light a candle as you assemble it into a salad, and then – with gratitude – enjoy (and possibly share).
Finally, simply lighting a green candle on your altar or another prominent place in your home can be a beautiful way to align with the energy of the season. As you do, take a moment to connect with the expansion and abundance of the earth at this particular moment, and give thanks for all the blessings you already have: the money in your bank account, your home, your loved ones, your personal successes, and anything else that comes to mind.