Lughnasa is the traditional festival at the beginning of August that marks the transition from summer to harvest, as the vibrant green hues of June and July begin to give way to the soft yellows, purples and browns that indicate autumn is on the way. It is the fourth festival in the Celtic wheel of the year after Samhain, Imbolc and Bealtaine and is named after the god Lugh, a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
This time of year is associated with Lughnasa traditions such as mountain climbing, athletic contests, fairs and horse racing. The annual pilgrimage up Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday is an example of an ancient Lughnasa tradition, as is the Puck Fair in Co. Kerry where a goat is brought in and crowned ‘King’.
Lughnasa is also a time to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest, whether this is wild berries such as bilberries or the first heads of grain. In some parts of Ireland, as in Britain and France, corn dollies were woven from wheat stalks after the harvest and offered to the earth as a fertility symbol when the grain was sown the following spring.
In Brigit’s Garden, Lughnasa is represented by two interlocking stone circles for dancing and feasting (very popular for wedding receptions), herb gardens celebrating harvest and abundance and mounds representing the constellation Orion, which some Celts saw as the warrior Lugh in the night sky. This is a time for thanksgiving, celebrations and the gathering in the fruits of endeavors as we move into autumn and the darker months.
Lughnasa Events at Brigit’s Garden
You are very welcome to join us for a Forest Bathing Walk at Brigit’s Garden on Sunday 14th August, 2022 with qualified guide Carol Barrett. The Forest Bathing Walk will give you an opportunity to slow down and connect with nature and tune into the rhythms of nature. Especially as we find ourselves at the beginning of Lughnasa – a time for celebration, ripening and sharing the bountiful gifts of the harvest.