The feast of Lugh, Lughnasa, or Lughnasadh happenssoon…on the eve, which is the 31st of July. A time for a bonfire and celebrations of the harvest…celebrations here at Bealtaine Cottage will be focused around a rather small outdoor fire but with the equivalent gusto of the eve that’s in it!
This was said to have been begun by the god Lugh as a funeral feast commemorating his foster-mother, Tailtu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Little changed there then, as most of the agricultural work in many African countries is carried out by women!
In days of old, Lughnasadh was a favoured time for trial marriages that would generally last a year and a day, with the option of ending the contract before the new year, or later formalizing it as a more permanent marriage.
Already there is a feel of Autumn in the air and can be seen in the plant life as harvests begin and fruits ripen on the trees. The days have shortened, now over a month past the longest day.
Flowers like this Perscaria Bistorta, a late flowering perennial, begin to show a magnificence beyond their humble beginnings!
is a pre-Christian, Celtic system of keeping the year and still in popular use today to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals.
The meteorological seasons begin on March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1.
The Irish Calendar observes the equinoxes and solstices and has a more realistic seasonal observance…
- Spring – February, March, April.
- Summer – May, June, July.
- Autumn – August, September, October.
- Winter – November, December, January.
These seasons are much more in keeping with the observations I make here at Bealtaine Cottage and I would abide by these dates rather than any other.