I often look to ancient nature or earth based celebrations as inspiration for how I approach the season. I find this very useful in parenting as well, as it gives me ideas for baking, books, crafts and themes to guide us through the summer months but with more consciousness and gratitude.
In summer there are some divine cornerstone celebrations during the season, Midsummer which has already passed by the time I write this and then Lughnasadh in August.
Lughnasadh is a traditional Celtic celebration of the ripening crops and marks the cusp of harvest time. It’s a time of gratitude, for the harvest that starts this month and with it the very first gathering of grain. In Lammas it is traditional to make a Lammas loaf in honour of the season. When I think of Lughnasadh and the time of year that accompanies it I think of ripe bilberries, dry land, golden stalks of mature oats, wheat and barley , red tomatoes in the greenhouse, corn dolls being made in the meadow with the sound of crickets and grasshoppers nearby. Theres a scent of new school books, freshly sharpened pencils and the nervous excitement of back to school only a few weeks away.
There’s often cattle and horse fairs at this time of year. Up near me, we have the aptly named Lammas fair, which originally was a gypsy horse trading event but now has become a popular tourist destination. Growing up in the south of Ireland I wasn’t aware of either of these events but instead would attend the RDS horse show which perhaps is a slightly more upmarket version of a cattle fair but was an event I couldn’t wait for and still reminds me of August summer holidays.
Lughnasadh can be marked through bread baking, foraging for berries, going on hikes, learning new skills, having a mini sports day, weaving using ripe wheat or oat straw, decorating the home with sunflowers and visiting local folk fairs.
How do you celebrate late summer?