Lammas Day, celebrated every August 1, is a wheat harvest festival that is also known as Loaf Mass Day. The holiday encourages celebrations and mass gatherings where individuals thank God for the first harvest of the season. According to tradition, a loaf of bread has to be taken to mass on Lammas Day, hence, it is not a surprise that it is famously recognized as ‘Loaf Mass Day.’ Though Lammas Day originated as a Christian holiday, it is also celebrated by others who want to offer thanks to spiritual entities for blessing the world with a fruitful wheat harvest for a particular year.
History of Lammas Day
Due to superstitions and religious beliefs of people, harvest festivals such as Lammas Day have been a part of ancient history. In the early times, sacrifices were often made to the gods to yield a fruitful harvest. In fact, according to Greek mythology, Adonis was the god of grain and rebirth. Although the religious aspect may be less apparent today, the spirit of gratitude and sharing the harvest with the whole community exists even today. One of the harvesting festivals that are celebrated across the world is Lammas Day – an occasion that marks the day of the first harvest. It also serves as a warning of the arrival of the fall season and is considered a time when communities start gathering food for the winter.
As mentioned in a book published in 1838 by William Hone, the celebrations on this day included the building of towers and the competition of breaking down the towers of others. According to historical records, some of these competitions proved to be dangerous and often lead to serious injuries and even cases of death. Another ancient Lammas tradition in Scotland included a Burryman marching around town with a crown of roses and a staff. This was known as the Burryman ritual. By the 20th century, the celebrations evolved into Lammas fairs that included market stalls, food, and drinks. One of the largest and most remembered Lammas fairs was held at Kirkwall in Orkney. According to the rules of the festival, couples could enter into a year-long temporary union and then later decide if they want to delve further into the commitment.
Lammas Day timeline
In ancient Egypt, a successful harvest is welcomed with a feast.
The Chinese celebrate the harvest during the autumn full moon.
The first harvest thanksgiving takes place in North America.
Reverend Robert Stephan Hawker introduces harvest thanksgiving to the church.
Lammas Day FAQs
Why do we celebrate Lammas?
The festival marks the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.
What does the word ‘Lammas’ mean?
The word ‘Lammas’ is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word that means ‘loaf-mass.’
What is Lammas Eve?
It is the day of reaping the wheat harvest and is celebrated on the first day of August.
How to Celebrate Lammas Day
Make Lammas bread
According to tradition, the day is celebrated by making and distributing bread. Keep the old practices alive by baking some bread at home.
Decorate your home
To welcome the harvest season, decorate your house with ornaments, decoration pieces, confetti, and whatever other interesting ideas you can come up with.
Go out to celebrate
The simplest and easiest way to celebrate is to visit a restaurant with friends and family. To keep up with the tradition, you can also order a loaf of bread.
5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Lammas Day
The ones who celebrate it
Lammas Day is celebrated by Christians, Pagans, and Neopagans.
The festival’s old name
The festival was originally called ‘Hlaefmass.’
The Irish tradition
According to tradition, the harvest grain attained before Lammas starts is bad luck.
People in Anglo-Saxon England believed the Lammas loaf could be used for magic.
The English and the Scottish called the day the ‘Gule of August.’
Why Lammas Day is Important
It keeps traditions alive
Lammas Day is an occasion that is essential since it keeps the ancient tradition of celebrating the harvest season alive. It keeps people connected to their roots.
It’s a way to thank God for his blessings
While a lot of people don’t believe in superstitions, the festival is still celebrated in numerous parts of the world and is one occasion where people make an extra effort to thank God.
It unites people
Since people tend to gather for dinner or lunch on this day, it serves as an occasion that helps people get in touch.
Lammas Day dates