Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!
Traditional Scottish poem
Lammas (also called Lughnasadh)
Lammas, also called Lughnasadh (pronouced loo’nass’ah), comes at the beginning of August. It is one of the Pagan festivals of Celtic origin which split the year into four.
Celts held the festival of the Irish god Lugh at this time and later, the Anglo-Saxons marked the festival of hlaefmass – loaf mass or Lammas – at this time.
For these agricultural communities this was the first day of the harvest, when the fields would be glowing with corn and reaping would begin. The harvest period would continue until Samhain when the last stores for the winter months would be put away.
Although farming is not an important part of modern life, Lughnasadh is still seen as a harvest festival by Pagans and symbols connected with the reaping of corn predominate in its rites.