Lammas - Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

The word “Lammas” derives from the Old English hlaf (“loaf”) and maesse (“mass” or “feast”). It was a harvest holiday of the early English Church celebrated on August Eve. Loaves baked from the year’s first ripe grain were blessed in Church.

There are two versions of the origins of this feast:

Image Lammas is an attempt to integrate the Celtic pagan festival of Lughnasa into the Christian calendar. Although also a harvest festival, Lughnasa honored the important Celtic solar deity Lugh.

Image Devotion to Lugh may have been superimposed on an earlier holy day dedicated to the Corn Mother and her dying son. The Corn Mother mourns her son, eventually transforming into the Mater Dolorosa, the Mother of Sorrows.

Lammas is celebrated as one of the important Wiccan sabbats. Although either name may be used, the Anglo-Saxon Lammas tends to be favored in modern Wicca.

Lammas, August Eve, is often a night devoted to romantic enchantment.

Please see Lughnasa (page 207) for further details.