The first Sunday of August, marks the beginning of autumn in the Gaelic calendar. This Gaelic festival marks the beginning of the harvest season.
Lughnasa is one of four seasonal ancient Gaelic festivals along with Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane.
The festival gets its name from the Celtic God of Lugh. Lugh was a Celtic God of sun, light and harvest and it was him that had to be appeased in turn for him ensuring a rich and prosperous crop for the coming harvest year.
Celtic festivals and rituals typically center around the assurance of a bountiful harvest and the celebration of the harvest cycle. Different locals around Ireland would host events to commemorate this Gaelic celebration.
Gaelic celebrations include going for hikes, celebrating the first crop coming to fruition and music, dance and story-telling.
Recently, Puck Fair has remained a noted yearly event. Hosted in Killorglin, Co. Kerry this longstanding Gaelic festival has taken placec since 1603. Since then, this festival has become infamous as it still uses a life goat as part of the celebration. The use of the goat is linked with the Gaelic festival as a symbol of pagan fertility.
Plan your own Gaelic Festival:
In keeping with traditions, here are the Taste Team's Top 3 Suggestions, to celebrate Lughnasa:
- Cooking: In keeping with the traditional Irish harvest, the use of berries in dishes was a prime event of this festival. Check out our Blue Berry Pie Recipe.
- Fruit Picking: A key event of Lughnasa was picking fruit.
- Story-Telling: Similar to any Gaelic festival - story-telling, dancing and festivities were common. Tune into Seanchas - an Irish folklore group based in Sydney. They regularly host livestreams via Facebook.
- Hiking: The celebration of "Reek Sunday" sees many locals climb Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo. Why not go on your own, socially distanced walk, to mark the occasion.