Lughnasadh is one of the four ancient fire festivals. One might call Lughnasadh (August 1st) and Imbolc (February 1st) the lost festivals. Samhain and, to a lesser extent, Beltane are still respectively celebrated at Halloween and on May Day in many places in the modern world. However, February 1st and August 1st are seldom remembered. Lughnasadh was, however, one of the greatest of the festivals. Traditionally, Lughnasadh was founded by Lugh (Luch as in Luke) Lamfada (Lam-FA-da) to honor His foster-mother, Taillte (TAWL-tay). Fosterage was a well-respected custom among the Celts. It was quite as common to accomplish family alliances through fosterage as through marriage. Celtic lore is full of stories of foster-brothers fighting to the death for one another and of foster-sons and daughters going to great lengths to show their respect and affection for foster parents.
Lughnasadh is a festival that celebrates the harvest, the crafts, trade and commerce, and marriage. Traditionally, Teltown, which is located between Navan and Kells in Ireland, was the original site of Lughnasadh. Nevertheless, the festival was also celebrated all over Ireland, as well as in Wales, Scotland, Britain, and on the Isle of Man. Teltown is, of course, named after Taillte.
This is the first of the harvest celebrations. It is a time to thank the Earth for its abundance and beauty. It’s from this harvest that we have food through the winter. To honor Lugh, games and sports are arranged to celebrate strength and good health. This is the time to harvest the dreams which were planted earlier in the year.
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