The Wheel of the Year: The Season of Lughnasadh

We celebrate the Goddess Tailtiu as summer days grow shorter and the first harvest begins.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
sodabread

The summer days are just beginning to shorten and the land is rich with earth’s gifts. The season of Lughnasadh is upon us. 

An ancient festival dating back to pre-Christian Ireland, Lughnasadh was founded to pay tribute to Lugh, the deity of light and harvest, and Tailtiu, who is believed to have been worshipped as the mother earth goddess. Tailtiu died of exhaustion in her efforts to sow the land and, mourning her death, Lugh held a festival and games every year in her honor. Tailitiu’s work brought forth the first harvest of the season, and with it, a celebration that was revered throughout Ireland and the British Isles. Though it was traditionally celebrated on the first of August, many now hold this festival on the first Sunday of August.

As with many pagan traditions, when Christianity took hold across Europe, names of holidays were changed, but some concepts remained in tact in an effort to appease the masses of converts. Lughnasadh eventually became known as Lammas, which translates to “Loaf Mass.” Still recognized as a harvest celebration, Lammas specifically honors the first crops of wheat, and baking bread – or a Lammas Loaf – is one of the oldest traditions still observed today.

You can create you own rituals to recognize the first harvest at this time of year: volunteer at a community farm, work in your own garden, shop at your local farmer’s market – or you can bake a loaf of Irish Soda Bread to commemorate the event (and share it with friends and family). Here’s a go-to recipe we love:

INGREDIENTS

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups wheat flour
3 tablespoons toasted wheat bran
3 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 cups buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425F. Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick spray and a sheet of parchment paper, and dust the parchment lightly with all-purpose flour.

Combine both flours, bran, wheat germ, oats, sugar and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Using either your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk. Working by hand, mix the dough, careful not to over-beat the ingredients.

Transfer the dough to your prepared baking sheet, knead a few times and form into a round loaf – again, be mindful not to overwork the dough. Score the top twice with a knife, creating a long, deep X across the top of your bread.

Turn the oven down to 375F and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

Slather with butter and jam or honey and thank the Spirit for the harvest!

Related

Ojook_PDP_V4

Youn Chang, Founder of OJOOK, On The Natural Beauty Hype, Why You Need Fewer Products Than You Think, And Her Minimal Beauty (and Makeup) Routines

"Refusing to buy something you don’t need and using everything you already own are the most impactful environmental acts."

_52A0675

Sleep: Uncovered - Zen Mamas Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen on sleeping, dreaming, and wind-down rituals while pregnant and postpartum

Zen Mama founders, actresses, and entrepreneurs Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen share what its like to sleep, dream, and how to find that elusive rest while pregnant with littles underfoot.

Wellness

May 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Taurus: Sometimes disagreement brings out the worst in people, but this month it is the impetus for real change - not because you engage in the head-butting but because it motivates you to actually do something about what's causing it.

conscious-design-r6Oz7d4wl3o-unsplash

Child's Pose: How To Become A Learner

"So how to become a Learner at work? Stop identifying by our skillsets, for starters. It is our being – our perspective and creativity – that is most valuable."

Digital Dinner Party Eventbrite Graphic

You're Invited: Join Us for a Digital Dinner Party Benefiting Nourish!

Anti-racism is a state of being, and more importantly, a state of doing. So, what are you doing?

heidihome (1)

Sleep: Uncovered -How Heidi Lender Handled Her "Sleep Demons" and Started To Recall Her Dreams

Welcome to Sleep: Uncovered - a new series where contributor, Stephanie Gailing, explores sleep and dream habits with women across the globe.

image1

Social Justice & Climate Action: A Conversation With Ashley Engle On Why You Cannot Separate The Two and How You Can Help Combat Them Both

"My advice to anyone wanting to stand up for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) and our future generations: Start where you are because the frontlines are truly everywhere!"