Lughnasad, Lammas, Thing-tide

Wheat harvest - as it used to be done.

This Fire Festival, Lughnasad, is traditionally celebrated at the hottest time of the year, 2nd.February here in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lughnasad is the feast of the Celtic God Lugh, who gave his name to the city of London. It marks the Harvest of the cereal crops, which is earlier than that of the autumn fruits and vegetables. It later became the Christian Lammas or Loaf-mass, offerings being made of the first loaf baked and the first ale brewed from this year's crop. The Anglo-Saxons called it Thing-tide - the Thing being a kind of planning meeting, presumably to assess the extent of the food available for the coming winter, and plan for the community accordingly.

Bread and ale were the staples of the Northern European diet. While wheat was much prized, both were usually made from barley, which was a much more reliable crop. Even mixed with wheat, it makes a much heavier bread. But we would hardly recognise the heavy, well-baked stuff, our European ancestors knew as the staff of life. Much of each baking was allowed to go hard so it would keep, and was then dipped in ale or milk to soften it again.

Ale, too, was very different then, being sweet and nutritious, with poor keeping qualities. Many indigenous beers are still being made, and are similar.
Hops, which act as a preservative as well as bitters, are a comparatively recent addition to brewing, and they are what distinguishes beer from a true ale.
South Australia is renowned for its barley, and now supplies much of the world's best quality malting grain.
For a good beer or ale still starts with barley.
And the Harvest is just now coming to an end, so the timing of the Festival is perfect.
Click the picture above to learn more about Medieval ways.


To our friends in the North, who are celebrating Brigid, Oimelc, or Candelmas - may the first hopeful signs of Spring lighten your hearts, and the lengthening days assure you that the Great Renewal is certain.

All bread-making is a Sacrament, whatever your spiritual tradition. Second only to childbirth in importance, it is the oldest and most vital of women's life-giving skills, and was once thought of as magical. When you make bread, you connect with all women throughout the millenia, not just hundreds or thousands, but tens of thousands of years, back to the very beginning of human history.
My recipe for Lammas Bread

For more Lammas myths, legends, & origins, visit MYTHING LINKS


"If we live as if it matters, and it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter;
but if we live as if it matters, and it does matter,
it DOES matter."


All times given here are Greenwich Mean Time
Current South Australian time - add 10hrs 30mins. to GMT.
This may change the date, but not the Longitude (Sign).

Find your local time at the


Solar Calendar

Lammas, Lughnasad, Thing-tide - Southern Hemisphere,
Brigit, Oimelc, Imbolc - in the North
1st/2nd.February 2006
March Equinox
Southern Hemisphere Autumn, Northern Hemisphere Spring
Sun enters Aries (0° Celestial Longitude)
20th.March 18.27 GMT

Lunar Calendar

First Qtr.- 5th.February 06.30 GMT 16° Taurus 19'
Full Moon - 13th.February 04.45 GMT - 24° Leo 20'
Last Qtr. - 21st.February 07.18 GMT 2° Saggitarius 31'
Dark Moon - 28th.February 00.32 GMT - 9° Pisces 16'
First Qtr. - 6th.March 20.17 GMT 16°Gemini 07'
Full Moon - 14th.March 23.37 GMT - 24° Virgo15'
Harvest Moon, Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Last Quarter - 22nd.March 19.12 GMT 2° Capricorn 01'

The New Moon occurs when
the first slender crescent is visible in the East at sunset
usually 2-3 days after Dark Moon

NB. The above are Tropical Zodiac Signs -
not recommended for Moon planting. See:

Planting by the Moon

with love from Margaret RainbowWeb

Remember! the world is always turning..................The World Turns  - click to go to Global Meditations.......GLOBAL MEDITATIONS

Learn about my favourite charity WAR CHILD


More about Solar and Lunar Festivals in Southern Australia

*NEW* Planting and Weather Calendar for South Australia

Exploring the Celtic World: its Myths and Festivals, Celts in Australia and the Southern Celtic Year


For myths, legends, & traditions from around the world,

And get the big picture at with these amazing ASTROPICS
from Eddie Guscott in the UK.



And a final thought, from the Introduction to the Designer's Manual, on Permaculture Design Philosophy:

"A person of courage today is a person of Peace.
The courage we need is to refuse authority, and to accept only personally responsible decisions."

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