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Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)

31 Jul 05 - 11:47 AM (#1532070)
Subject: Happy! - July 31
From: Abby Sale

Happy Lughnasadh Eve
("Feast of Lugh")

& Sabbat (Lammas)

annually on 7/31

It's one of those convenient times of year to hook the setting for a ballad, eg:

        IT fell about the Lammas time,
        When wightsmen won their hay,
        A' the squires in merry Linkum
        Went a' forth till a play.

                "Lord Livingston" (Child #262)

ALSO: The Battle of Otterburn (Child #161)- fell about the Lammas tide,
ALSO: Corn Rigs (or Rigs 'O Barley)(Burns) - was upon a Lammas night,
ALSO: Duncan Gray (Burns- 1 of 3+ versions) - Bonie was the lammas moon,
ALSO: Young Ronald (Child #304)- It fell upon the Lammas time.

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

31 Jul 05 - 12:00 PM (#1532086)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31
From: Amos

From this site

In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as "Lughnasadh", a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish Sun God Lugh. However, there is some confusion on this point. Although at first glance, it may seem that we are celebrating the death of Lugh, the God of Light does not really die (mythically) until the autumnal equinox. And indeed, if we read the Irish myths closer, we discover that it is not Lugh's death that is being celebrated, but the funeral games that Lugh hosted to commemorate the death of his foster mother, Taillte. That is why the Lughnasadh celebrations in Ireland are often called the "Tailltean games".

One common feature of the games was the "Tailltean marriages", a rather informal marriage that lasted for only a yearand- a-day or until next Lammas. At that time, the couple could decide to continue the arrangement if it pleased them, or to stand back to back and walk away from one another, thus bringing the Tailltean marriage to a formal close. Such trial marriages (obviously related to the Wiccan handfasting) were quite common even into the 1500s, although it was something one "didn't bother the parish priest about". Indeed, such ceremonies were usually solemnized by a poet, bard, or shanachie (or, it may be guessed, by a priest or priestess of the Old Religion).


Now there's a social invention worth preserving!! Tailtean marriages. First-rate!! Try before you buy!


31 Jul 05 - 12:49 PM (#1532108)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31
From: Abby Sale


31 Jul 05 - 07:19 PM (#1532272)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: CapriUni

And among modern Wiccans (can't speak for the ancient Pagans, as I tweren't there) Lughnasadh is the sabbat celebrating the first harvest, particularly grain, and the death and ressurection of the grain god (and all that comes after that).

So, in that spirit, even though Lughnasadh is not mentioned in the song, I'd like to offer up John Barleycorn as a Lughnasadh ballad (this is from the DT mirror site).

31 Jul 05 - 09:10 PM (#1532327)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Abby Sale

A spirit of spirits in that spirit. Seems reasonable.

01 Aug 05 - 01:04 AM (#1532414)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: CapriUni

Hee! Cheers! *clink*

01 Aug 05 - 04:50 AM (#1532467)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Paul Burke

How is it pronounced? The nearest I can get is 'lunacy'.

01 Aug 05 - 01:25 PM (#1532727)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Micca

Paul, Very nearly right, it is pronounced Loo-na-sa

01 Aug 05 - 01:26 PM (#1532730)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Abby Sale

Even though the dh is generally silent, about 100 years ago at Univ, I learned, loo'-ne-sagh' (soft gutteral, as in Gaughan.)

A quick whip around (always fun) the web gives loo'-ne-sah' & LOO-nah-soo & Loo-naz & LOO-nus-uh & even loo'-ne-sar'.

One very authoritative-seeming feller says, Lughnasadh - The "g" in "gh" is largely silent, and the "dh" is an aspirated "w" type sound with something of an aspirated "h" sound.

I hope this helps.

Modern Wiccans, etc. were nor around when it was celebrated "in the field" in Ireland and I gather there is no particular continuity of oral pronounciation (as there is, eg, in ecclesiastical Latin or Hebrew) and it's bound to differ in Scotland and different parts of Ireland and may well have shiftted over time, anyway. There's general agreement on the first syllable and keep in mind that non-gutteral-language-users haven't a clue what to do with one.

Besides, how often would you use it in conversation, anyway?

01 Aug 05 - 01:35 PM (#1532736)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Catherine Jayne

Not everyone that celebrates Lammas/Lughnasadh is Wiccan. Wiccan tends to be a blanket term used in the USA to cover those who practice Witchcraft/Druidry/Shamanism. Under the Witchcraft name there are many demominations...Like the term Christian is used for Catholics and Protestants etc. I am a member of a 'Traditional Witchcraft' Coven, I am not Wiccan...a religion that was set up or made famous by Gerald Gardner. Our Coven went to a piece of Forest owned by our HP and HPS and relaxed around the fire, the men built a new wood shelter. We were going to do some archery but we seemed to run out of time. We held our Lammas Ritual and had a feast after before heading back home and the sparkling metropolis of London! It was nice to get out of the city and relax amongst like minded friends in the beautiful forest.

01 Aug 05 - 01:53 PM (#1532753)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Manitas_at_home

Lammas itself means 'loaf-mass'. The mass isn't a particular pagan ritual is it?

01 Aug 05 - 02:09 PM (#1532767)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: CapriUni

Manitas, no, it's not... exactly. But just as many Neo-Pagans see "Christ mass" as the survival of the ancient Winter Solstice celebrations, they also see "Loaf Mass" as the survival of ancient rituals honoring the grain harvest (with the blessing of the bread, etc.)

Besides, for us non-gutteral speakers, "Lammas" is a heck of a lot easier to say than "Lughnasadh"!

01 Aug 05 - 02:44 PM (#1532786)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Abby Sale

:-) I believe (but don't bet too much on it) that Lammas is essentially the Christian evolution of Lughnasadh. Lughnasadh was certainly a celebration of one of Ireland's great heroes, Lugh-of-the-long-hand, from its ancient mythological cycle. It was very common to replace established festivals, gods, heroes, etc when bringing in the new Order of Things. In other words, you don't have to change the celebration, just its name.

I don't know any really good term for Neo-pagan/Acquarian/New Age/Wiccan practioners (and maybe it's inappropriate to lump them together at all) but "they" are celebrating a seasonal cycle event. "They're" entitled to call it or practice at it whatever they wish. I would bet (but not the farm) that there is no continuity anywhere in Northern Europe from any Old Religion to any New. Thus, there can be no such thing as Orthodoxy in this matter.

01 Aug 05 - 03:05 PM (#1532799)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: silverfish

Agree 100% Abby with your contiuity comment.
I guess in this instance we're all practicing and only The Fool would claim to be perfect.
And at what point does a belief or a religion become a cult?
Anyhow, I consider the passing of seasons to be pretty much a constant in our lives, and I shall continue to honour their progression in my own quiet way.
Blessed Be.

01 Aug 05 - 03:44 PM (#1532824)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Le Scaramouche

John Barleycorn would be fun to sing, but hardly think it's anything to do with spring rituals, unless you want to call farming a ritual.

01 Aug 05 - 04:53 PM (#1532867)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Abby Sale

Well then came men with great sharp scythes
To cut him off at the knee
They bashed his head against a stone
And they used him barbarously

Surely harvest. Or maybe just a joke & not religious at all. Ever since reading Golden Bough and Freud I completely gave up on being sure what these (or nursery rhymes) actually mean.

01 Aug 05 - 05:06 PM (#1532876)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Le Scaramouche

Actual harvest is not the same as harvest festivals. I think it really is one big joke. Most probably mean what they say, these were for entertainment.

01 Aug 05 - 06:52 PM (#1532940)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Ned Ludd

I celebrated by getting innebriate and singing in a wild flower meadow in the village...Oh and we had sandwiches as well. Is that an appropriate way of doing it? ( getting paid too!)

01 Aug 05 - 07:24 PM (#1532978)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: CapriUni

Sacramouche -- hardly think it's anything to do with spring rituals

This is August -- not spring, late summer. ;-)

unless you want to call farming a ritual

Well, farming isn't a ritual, per se, but the rituals they did do celebrated farming, and blessed the farmers' fields.

Ned Ludd -- sounds good to me!

02 Aug 05 - 02:48 AM (#1533178)
Subject: RE: Happy! - July 31 (Lughnasadh)
From: Le Scaramouche

Spring was a slipup.
I still find it incredibly hard to believe that John Barleycorn is more than somebody's joke about making ale or beer.