Monday, August 1, 2016

3 Ways to Celebrate Lammas (Lughnasadh) Without Spending a Dime


Lammas, or in my house Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sa), is a celebration of the first harvest. It's a time to honor the wheel of life, to recognize that nothing in the world is constant. 

In the Southwest, it's a Sabbat that is sort of out of sync with the meaning. Of course, this place is essentially always out of sync with the natural patterns of nature. Here, August is brutally sweltering and there's no sign of the heat relenting. It doesn't really begin to cool down until November. But growing up in New England, August was the month when summer's hold began to slacken and the nights hinted at the impending fall. 

As a teenager, I spent those summer nights with my best friend, often sitting on her front stoop, staring into the darkened trees that lay beyond her house, talking of the future. What would the new school year bring? Where were we planning on going to college? What would adulthood look like? We didn't know at the time, but we were innately following that wheel, recognizing that we were once again upon the brink of change.

Fortunately, not everything changes. Sixteen years later and Kelly is still my best friend, despite having spent thirteen of those years on opposite sides of the country. She's my "sista from another motha," as she says. 

...I corrected her, "It's 'sista from another mista, kel.'" Then I promptly urged her not to let the entire world know what colossal dorks we really are.

That's the thing about Lammas, while celebrated in the summer, it feels like an autumnal Sabbat because it's a time for reflection. Now is the time to appreciate the warm, sunny days while we still have them, knowing the wheel is turning towards darkness and chill. It's about appreciation for what we have and reverence for what will change. A cyclical thanksgiving, if you will.

But it doesn't have to be somber. After all, there's beer! Here are three simple (and enjoyable) ways to honor Lammas (or Lughnasadh) without spending a dime!

Eat a pasty

These pasties are not the same things Cinnamon wears down at the local jiggle joint. A pasty (pah-stee) is essentially a hand-held meat pie. And who doesn't love meat on the go?

...Wow. This post just doesn't want to stay in its lane.

Back to food. Wheat is the quintessential food of Lammas, and pasties are a nice, rustic variation of plain old bread. Of course, you could simply enjoy a fresh slice of cibatta slathered in butter. Oh, let me enjoy that fantasy for a moment.

Regardless of how you prefer your wheat, Lammas is a time to ignore the carb count and chow down. It's a celebration of the harvest, after all. And here in America, that means amber waves of grain, baby! #USA

Have a beer

This is my husband's favorite Sabbat, and it's strictly because of the beer. But in the vein of harvest and grain, beer is actually considered a ritualistic food. If you're like me and choose not to drink, apple cider or cranberry juice can also be used to honor the day.

Visit a farm

Again—Harvest. Food. You catching a theme here? Lammas is the perfect time to visit a local farm or farmers market and see what's in season. Check out the mouthwatering selection of handmade pies, jams, and whatever else they have to offer and take your treat to a nearby park for a picnic. Yum yum!

Of course, if you're not into eating (weirdo) there are plenty of other things you can do to celebrate Lammas. Make a corn husk doll (you can generally find dried corn husk sheets in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store). Go for a hike. Take a stroll through a cornfield ala Signs. Whatever you do, just make sure to enjoy nature and be present in the moment. Because that's the lesson of Lammas—change is coming, appreciate the now! 


Do you call the first harvest Lammas or Lughnasadh? What do you do to celebrate?


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