Saturday, August 01, 2009

August 1

August 1st. Already? Really? Yeesh.

I'm calling this "Did You Know?" for the time being. And I did have a direction for this when I started but then lost it towards the end.

Did You Know?
In Celtic times, August 1st was called Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-naa-saa). Today was traditionally the first grain harvest of the season and was celebrated from sundown through following sundown (though sometimes started at sundown on July 31) with a festival honoring the harvest & grain gods and the god Lugh, referred to as the god of the harvest, the god of light and the god of sun (depending on who's opinion you read). Corn and blackberries were also harvested. (The corn husks were kept to dry and be made into 'corn husk dolls' a tradition carried over and continued in America to this day). It was also considered to be the first day of Autumn!

The last "official" Lughnasadh festival took place in Ireland back in 1169. After Catholic influence appeared, the day was renamed Lammas and loaves of bread were baked with the first harvested grains and blessed in a church ceremony.

The Celts (and other European peoples) feared angering the gods and suffering what they felt was the gods punishment so festivals like this reminded them to be thankful for what they had and to not take necessities for granted. It was also a reminder that the weather was soon going to turn and they had a limited time left to prepare for surviving the coming long winter.

In our world today, it is very difficult to be mindful of the seasons and the subtle to not so subtle changes they bring, especially with all of the 'creature comforts' we have for different weather and most any fruit or vegetable being available year round at our food stores. I have tried as best as I can to appreciate each as they come and go, by researching our past (and our ancestors past), by growing some of my own foods, by watching nature and eating things in their season regardless of when they're available, all of which I enjoy doing. I feel connected to the seasons (some more than others), perhaps because I'm a gardener.

Yesterday afternoon, without even thinking of it, I baked the first 2 loaves of zucchini bread of the season.


Lit and Life said...

I think this is a great reminder of giving thanks for what the earth give us! I'm now inspired to go out and see what has ripened while I've been gone and it ready for me to enjoy!

Jo said...

Then I did what I started out intending with this piece! Your reaction makes me feel good about what I wrote, thanks!