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Happy Lammas (August 1)

31 Jul 01 - 08:10 PM (#518732)
Subject: Happy Lammas
From: Stewart

Aug. 1st is Lammas or the celebration of the beginning of harvest season in Scotland and England. This brings to mind the poem and song by Robert Burns.

CORN RIGS (or Rigs o' Barley) (Robert Burns)

It was upon a Lammas night
When the corn rigs were bonnie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light
I held awa' to Annie...

Cheers, S. in Seattle

31 Jul 01 - 10:18 PM (#518775)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Gypsy

Perfect! I was harvesting today for farmers market, and lo and behold, what did i find on my calender? Happy Lammas to all!

31 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM (#518805)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: katlaughing

Merry Lammas and thanks for the reminder, Stewart!


01 Aug 01 - 12:46 AM (#518820)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Crazy Eddie

Did anyone go to the "Oul' Lammas Fair, in Ballycastle-o"?
For that matter, is the fair still held?

01 Aug 01 - 03:21 AM (#518857)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Peg

I went over to the Mystic river in my old neighborhood and picked enormous blackberries! (a very Lammas thing to do as fresh berries are traditional for this holiday)

Offered some of the best to the fairies and the gods tonight; will make the rest into some homemade ice cream,I think...


01 Aug 01 - 03:43 AM (#518860)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: GUEST,chrisj

I had a cassette once with Otilie Patterson (better known for her jazz singing) doing a great version of 'Th'Ould Lammas Fair". Could someone post the lyrics pls?

01 Aug 01 - 04:28 AM (#518875)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: sian, west wales

Hey, Lammas was a big thing in Wales too! Lammas Street is the main street in Carmarthen Town - Heol Awst in Welsh. I shall make a point of doing a pub crawl down it this evening in celebration ...


01 Aug 01 - 05:16 AM (#518884)
Subject: Lyr Add: OULD LAMMAS FAIR
From: Quincy

Yep Crazy Eddie.....definitely still goes on in Ballycastle!!

There's nothing like a bag of of sea weed at the fair!

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

At the ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there
Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
To some Dulse and Yellow Man
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

In Flander's fields afar while resting from the War
We drank Bon Sante to the Flemish lassies O!
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky from eating Yellow Man
As we passed the silver Margy and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

Repeat Chorus
There's a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde
It's lit by love and sunshine where the heather honey's made
With the bees ever humming and the children's joyous call
Resounds across the valley as the shadows fall
Sure I take my fiddle down and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem'ry of the Lammas Fair

Repeat Chorus

Have a good wishes, Yvonne

01 Aug 01 - 05:39 AM (#518891)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

BTW Ottilie Patterson's latest CD (2001) is one of Irish songs with one Michael Duffy. The Amazon entry doesn't list the tracks.

01 Aug 01 - 05:46 AM (#518896)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

Sorry, Dick (*BG*).Full details are :Irish Favourites by O.P. & Michael O'Duffy on Castle Pulse, PLSCD166 ,March 2001, available in UK from Amazon and US from CAMSCO (is that OK, Dick?!)both via Mudcat of course.
RtS (never knowingly correct first posting!)

01 Aug 01 - 07:04 AM (#518930)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Dave the Gnome

Why just happy Llammas??? Why not goats, sheep and yaks....



Sorry. have a good un. Whatever animal it is named after;-)


Dave the Gnome

01 Aug 01 - 07:33 AM (#518938)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: RangerSteve

I have nothing to harvest yet. But I have lots of weeds to pull. I guess that's harvesting in a way. I'll find a way to turn it into a celebration. Can anyone explain to us ignorant Americans what the name Lammas means?

01 Aug 01 - 07:41 AM (#518942)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: manitas_at_work

Lammas = Loaf-mass, a harvest celebration

01 Aug 01 - 07:54 AM (#518945)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: JohnB

I'm off work for a month, don't have a clue what day any of them are. Thanks for the info. Happy Llamas are well fed Llamas, JohnB :)

01 Aug 01 - 08:00 AM (#518946)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: forty two

Yup, the Lammas Fair still happens in Ballycastle. It is now, along with the Puck Fair, the oldest fair in Ireland. I think!!

01 Aug 01 - 09:01 AM (#518981)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Fiolar

To add to what Manitas has said: Lammas Day was the day in Anglo-Saxon times on which the first fruits were offered ie the first harvest. Formerly bread for Lammas Day Eucharist was made from the new corn. The name as stated derives from Old English "hlafmaesse" - "loaf mass." It is also the Feast of St Peter Ad Vincula (St Peter in Chains) from which the 12th century church on Tower Green in London takes its name.

01 Aug 01 - 09:22 AM (#518993)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Fiolar

Another bit of information. Apparently there was once a "Lamb Mass" held in a church in York and this may have given rise to Lammas. You pays your money. Incidentally anyone interested in customs should try and get the book "Chronicle of Celtic Folk Customs" by Brian Day. ISDN 0-600-59837-3. It is a day-to-day guide to folk tradition and is profusely illustrated.

01 Aug 01 - 09:27 AM (#518997)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: IanC


Lammas is not Lamb Mass ... This may be of help.

"Lammas takes its name from the Old English "hlaf," meaning "loaf" and "maesse," meaning feast. Lammas has often been taken to mean Lamb-mass, because on August 1, the next day, is the Feast of St. Peter's Chains, at which lambs are taken to church for blessing."


01 Aug 01 - 09:56 AM (#519022)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: katlaughing

It is also called Lughnasadh, after a Celtic god.I've herad it pronounced "Loo-na-sa" as well as the one given below. Here's some info on that:

"The turning of the wheel now brings us to Lughnasadh (LOO-Nus-uh), named in honor of the Celtic god Lugh, a name which means 'light' or 'shining.' According to one of his many legends, he was the last great leader of the Tuatha de Dannan.

" In one of the Tuatha's victories, Lugh spared the life of Bres, a defeated enemy captain, in exchange for advice on ploughing, sowing, and reaping. He was seen as a multi-talented deity, being capable and quite good at all he undertook. The myths of Lugh include the prevalence of his many skills and the wedding of these skills to the potential or unrealized abundance of the land.

"According to the writing of Caesar, he was also regarded as the patron of all the arts, traveling, and influence in money and commerce. To the Romans, Lugh was seen as a counterpart to Mercury. Lugh is the son of Arianrhod, who is associated with sacred kingship and Three-fold Death. His wife's name is Blodeuwedd, also known as the Flower Maiden.

"Lughnasadh, otherwise known as Lammas, is the first of the three harvest Sabbats (Mabon and Samhain being the other two), which celebrates the ripening grains and corn. With the harvest so prevalent, Pagans see the theme of the sacrificed god motif emerge. His death is necessary for rebirth of the land to take place. Called by many names, 'Green Man,' 'Wicker Man,' 'Corn Man' or just the 'Spirit of Vegetation,' his essence begins to merge with the harvested crops, a sacrifice that will be realized with the new growth in the spring.

"In old times, it was the duty of the King to sacrifice himself for the land, an idea that has been seen in the many legends of cultures both new and old, throughout recorded history. The gathering of the first crops of the year is also used to symbolize the success and extent of the power raised from the Beltane rites when the Sacred Marriage of the Lord and Lady took place. The theme of sexuality and reproduction is carried over into Lughnasadh as well to ensure the remainder of a good harvest.

"This sabbat is also known as the celebration of bread. As bread was one of the main staples of our ancestors, the ripening of the grain was the cause for great celebration. The reaping, thrashing and preparation of these breads spawned great ritual and ceremony to ensure bounty for the following year.

"This time of the year finds us with fields to harvest, the first of a bountiful crop that will hold us through the winter months. Even though the hottest days of summer are upon us, we have but to observe to see that fall is just around the corner. Shadows are growing longer as the days slowly become shorter. Squirrels are busily gathering food for the coming winter. It is a time to begin canning produce from the garden, a time to save and preserve. "

Some ideas for celebration include:

Sacrifice bad habits and unwanted things from your life by throwing symbols of them into the sabbat fire.

Bake a loaf of bread in the shape of a man and sacrifice him in your ritual. Make him a part of your feast but save a piece to offer the gods.

Take time to actually harvest fruits from your garden with your family. If you don't have a garden, visit one of the local pick-your-own farms in your area.

Include bilberries or blueberries in your feast; these were a traditional fruit, whose abundance was seen as an indicator of the harvest to come.

Gather the tools of your trade and bless them in order to bring a richer harvest next year.

Share your harvest with others who are less fortunate. Decorate with sickles, scythes, fresh vegetables & fruits, grains, berries, corn dollies, bread. Colors are orange, gold, yellow, red and bronze.

01 Aug 01 - 10:50 AM (#519058)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: LR Mole

Thus, the one-l lammas is a feast, the two-l llamas are Andean animals. Watch how much you throw into the fire, though, or it will turn into a three-l lama.

01 Aug 01 - 12:26 PM (#519114)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Hollowfox

Happy (warm) holiday, all! It will be nearly hot enough here today to bake stuff by setting it out on my front porch.

01 Aug 01 - 04:17 PM (#519300)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Maryrrf

Thanks for the reminder. I'll have a little ceremony tonight at home!

01 Aug 01 - 04:39 PM (#519317)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Fiolar

IanC. Read my post before the "lamb-mass" one. :-)

01 Aug 01 - 04:45 PM (#519323)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Rowana (at work)


Are you not harvesting your Jersey tomatoes yet? We've so many we're starting to give them away!

01 Aug 01 - 04:52 PM (#519328)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Metchosin

Interesting that a 12th Century Anglo Saxon celebration would be marked by bread made of new corn, considering that corn was a crop indigenous to North America. Another proof, perhaps, that European contact with North America was widespread way earlier than generally held beliefs, along with the carved ear of corn on a Scottish church thought to have been done sometime in the 12th? century as well.

01 Aug 01 - 05:18 PM (#519346)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas

Happy hols all.

I made the same assumption about corn being a New World crop when I first crossed the pond. Turns out the word is older than our usage. My Scottish classmates gleefully pointed out that they used the term as a generic for any type of grain. They refer to corn on the cob as "sweetcorn". Interesting reference to the carving.


01 Aug 01 - 05:40 PM (#519351)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Liz the Squeak

Tell my Michaelmas daisies that have been flowering for 3 weeks now that they are 2 months too early!!!

And I wondered why I had a toast craving today..... Prefer to greet the corn (generic term meaning any edible/grindable grain - in this case barley) with a sup of the brown stuff.

Does the St Peter's fair still happen in certain cathedral towns in Shropshire??


01 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM (#519365)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Hollowfox

Metchosin, could that carving just be a really big rendering of a single head of grain, wheat,perhaps? Or was the whole plant depicted?

01 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM (#519386)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Hawker

Happy Lamas to you all, I have made my neck of corn toady, from the field at the end of our road, They cut the field today..... I always feel sad when first its cut, but then I remeber the celebrations that used to follow when we were kids, this doesn't seem to happen now, but it was a big thing then, bringing in the harvest.

01 Aug 01 - 07:41 PM (#519397)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Peg

Metchosin: good point, and interesting question, but keep in mind that the word "corn" when used in British folklore to discuss agricultural festivals often refers to far more than what we think of as "corn"; it also encompasses barley, wheat, and other grain crops indigeneous to Western Europe...


01 Aug 01 - 08:17 PM (#519411)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Metchosin

well there you go Liz, another word that has lost its original meaning here in north America, when I checked my "English" dictionary, "corn" was given as a generic term for any grain and depending on the locality could refer to oats, barley, wheat or in North America, Indian corn. I've never heard the word corn (rarely maize or Indian corn) used here to refer to a grain other than corn and we be a "wheat country".

Gee, and here I thought that St. Brendan and Eric the Red might have been doing a lot more travelling than we suspected.

Still doesn't explain the "corn" carved on the church in Edinburgh, as pointed out to my daughter by local guides. My daughter took a picture of it, looks like corn to me too, not any other grain, of course it could have been done by a really bad artist.

01 Aug 01 - 08:26 PM (#519415)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Lots of information here for the ignorant like myself. Is maize the name of American corn in Britain, or has it joined with the grains as corn? I remember something called the Corn Laws in World History (our smattering of the world outside of the great USA) but their purpose escaped my head long ago. I will wear my Tony Lamas tonight.

01 Aug 01 - 09:17 PM (#519426)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Metchosin

Hollowfox, for a bit more information, the church is Freemason Church called Rosslyn Chapel outside of Edinburgh

02 Aug 01 - 07:25 AM (#519575)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Robby

Well, happy belated Lammas to all. Now, that Quincy was kind enough to post the lyrics, so I finally know what is being sung, is any one able to tell me the meaning of "Dulse and Yellow Man"? From the context, I would surmise some kind of snack food and/or drink, but would appreciate learning just what the phrase means.

02 Aug 01 - 08:03 AM (#519583)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: IanC

Dulse is dried seaweed (they sell it to commuter on the street in Belfast along with newspapers) ... salty and disgusting.

Yellowman is the name they use in Northern Ireland for cinder toffee (crunchie bars without the chocolate).


02 Aug 01 - 08:09 AM (#519587)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Crazy Eddie

Robby, Dulse, aka duilsk, is a type of edible seaweed. It tastes quite salty & somewhat fishy. An acquired taste, it used to be chewed by the older folks, a bit like chewing tobacco or chewing gum.
I haven't seen yellow-man myself but I was told it is a kind of fudge or toffee, usually served in sticks, like a stick of rock.
Thanks Yvonne (Quincy) for posting the lyrics. My mother used to sing this sometimes, but only knew the first verse. By the third repetition, I be goin' nuts.

02 Aug 01 - 08:36 AM (#519604)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Fiolar

Yellow Man is a brittle kind of toffee made with golden syrup, brown sugar, butter, vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. Another favourite sweet in Ireland was called "Peggy's Leg" which was a stick of boiled sweet something similar to the sticks of rock sold at seaside resorts in Britain.

02 Aug 01 - 11:38 AM (#519727)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Robby

Thanks to IanC, CrazyEddie and Fiolar for that information.
After learning what crubeen is, I thought I was ready for almost anything. However, I think I'll pass on the Dulse. Yellow Man, on the other hand, sounds like it could be tasty.

02 Aug 01 - 06:04 PM (#519989)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Dulse is a great favorite in Newfoundland and the Maritimes and is sold across Canada, even in the west.Probably available in New England as well.

02 Aug 01 - 06:54 PM (#520035)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Hollowfox

Fiolar, if you add peanuts tioyour yellow man, we call it "peanut brittle" in the USA

02 Aug 01 - 08:59 PM (#520107)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: Bat Goddess

My pattypan squash is just blossoming out, the grape tomatoes are ripening. I hauled in a harvest by visiting a friend in Amesbury last night. The blackberries around here aren't quite ripe yet.

Good Lammas all.

Bat Goddess

30 Dec 07 - 05:59 AM (#2224782)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas
From: GUEST,Ken

On the subject of Yellow Man, is this the same as Peggy's Leg.

27 Sep 17 - 07:23 AM (#3878933)
Subject: RE: Happy Lammas (August 1)

No it's cinder toffee- in UK the commercial variety is called 'Crunchie' although I think that has chocolate covering.