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. Lughnasa is associated with 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 endeavours as we move into autumn and the darker months.
Lughnasa Events at Brigit's Garden
Brigit's Garden Founder Jenny Beale is leading a Lughnasa/Autumn Seasonal Walk exploring Lughnasa traditions and the harvest season on August 4th 2019.
Lughnasa Shutter Sunday takes place on Sunday, August 11th. We would like to invite budding photographers, amateurs, professionals, wildlife photographers, camera clubs, macro-photographers, travel photographers, shutterbugs, or anyone with a working camera to complimentary admission to the Garden from 10am to 12pm, to feast their senses and lenses on all the natural beauty the garden has to offer.
The Fairy Queen and Elf King are on their way to Brigit's Garden and are inviting all fairies and elves, to join them for a magical day of fairy fun on Sunday August 18th.