Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season and historically was widely celebrated throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Held on August 1st it is half way between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. Many celebrate on the nearest Sunday to this date. Lughnasadh is mentioned in early Irish literature and has Pagan origins. It is named after the god Lugh and it inspired great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests, feasting, matchmaking and trading. Traditionally people visited holy wells and offered the first fruits of the season. There is a feast of new food and some sacrificed a bull. Some perform a dance-play where Lugh seizes the harvest for mankind and defeats the powers of bright. Many of these activities were done on hills or mountains. These were celebrated widely until the 20th century. Some called it Garland Sunday or Mountain Sunday. The custom of hill climbing still happens today as Lughnasadh has survived in some areas.

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