The Magical Festival of Lughnasa…

The land approaches Lughnasa, (Lughnasadh), August and the beginning of Autumn.

Looking at the apples today on the trees at Bealtaine Cottage, it is easy to see how this is.

Harvests continue to be gathered and develop, ripening to plumpness and fullness.

Tomatoes, like the ones above, grown outdoors in areas of micro-climate warmth and shelter, continue to flower and produce.

The weather is promised good for the week ahead, as grass moves in the gentle breeze of a July afternoon…the only missing part of this picture is the beautiful Butterflies, so decimated by rain last year and almost finished off with rain and cold this summer.

There is little I can do to help this situation, other than continue to grow and plant out Buddleias and other shrubs and flowers much beloved of these fairy creatures with coloured wings.

Herbs are harvested, tied into small bunches and hung to dry in the warmth of the tunnel, with lots of air circulating, as both doors remain open day and night during summer.

Lughnasa is a harvest festival, marking the end of the period of summer growth and the beginning of the autumn harvest.

This is the time to save seed…as you can see, seed-heads have formed beautifully on the Leeks in the tunnel today.

I will save the seed of the strongest plant, for sowing next year.

Jostaberries are almost ready to harvest.

They come into season just after the Blackcurrant.

Many people think  that Lughnasa was a fire festival, but it was not.

Lughnasa was associated with water and earth, as seen in decoration of wells, making of corn-dollies, decorating and adorning with flowers, and climbing mountains.

Many of the most beautiful flowers come into flower at this time…the Crocosmia by the door of the tunnel will flower over the next week or so, as will the gorgeous Shasta Daisy!

The plant just peeping into the tunnel is Lemon Balm.

Wonderful scents arise as one brushes past it!

Wood cut last winter will be ready for the barn by Lughnasa.

It dries well when stacked like this!

Lughnasa is a Celtic cross-quarter festival, meaning it is not a Solstice or an Equinox, but falls between.

Perhaps this Lughnasa you will climb a mountain, visit a Holy Well, collect Bilberries, bring in the first potatoes…all celebrations of this special, magical, Celtic Festival!


  1. what a beautiful post, i must think of a way of marking lughnasa this year with something that involves the wellbeing of butterflies.

    wishing you a wonderful week ahead. your little cat is a sweetie =^.^=

    blessings xx


  2. I grow gooseberry yet have no knowledge of blackcurrant. I am looking for helge row bushes. Hopefully to feed the animals as well as us. I am wondering do you rest guest rooms? In two years I will be traveling in Western Ireland and just wondered.

    • There are some excellent B&B’s very close by where it is possible to stay, as Bealtaine Cottage is very small.
      You are welcome to visit for the day and see everything first hand.
      Of course you would let me know dates around that time.
      Blackcurrants make good hedging, mixed with other shrubs, though not stock-proof.

  3. An emerald oasis for Flo to leap for joy…..or maybe to show off to Missy!

    I’m somewhat intrigued by Jostaberries because I’ve only recently heard of such fruit. The name sounds unusual and even a little exotic…..I like it. But as I’ve never tasted them, and know nothing about how they might be ‘manufactured’ I’m wondering if they are used in jam and preserves etc. Or they been ‘imported’ from a faraway Jostaberry sounding place and have blossomed and thrived in Bealtaine?

Your comments are welcome!