Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Lammas marks the beginning of the early harvest - cereals, barley, wheat and oats. It was often celebrated with bonfires, once lit on hills and beacons all over Europe. This is also the festival of the Celtic God of the Sun Lugh, whose sacrifice in the harvest at Lughnasadh is made so that people may live.
Excavations at Silbury Hill, the largest manmade earthwork in England suggest that its contruction began in August, carbon dated to approx. 2660 BCE. Perhaps it was built to celebrate Lammas. The name Silbury Hill is derived from the ancient water Goddess Sul, whose spirit is said to dwell in the hill's surrounding moat. The shape of the hill is like a pregnant belly, suggesting strong associations with the Goddess, fertility and fruitfulness.
The Corn King gives his life for the land,
We toast his sacrifice with ale in our hand,
And eat the bread, from the harvest made,
As sheaves of corn to the eath are laid,
May our well-earned bounty reward our toil,
As we harvest the seed and the grain from the soil.