Like many ancient Sabbats and holidays, Lammas is a time our ancestors used to honor specific deities, gather the first rounds of grain, and celebrate the bounty of the earth.
Think feasts of local fruits and veggies, freshly baked bread, and flowing wine.
Let's just say our ancestors knew a lot more about gratitude back in the day ... before food magically showed up via Amazon Fresh every night.
So, what is Lammas? And how to modern witches celebrate? Read on to find out.
What is Lammas?
Lammas is an ancient holiday that marks the halfways mark between summer and fall and the first big harvest of the year. Most people recognize it on August 1, but I think it's appropriate to celebrate for a weekend or longer.
While the Fall Equinox or Mabon is widely recognized as the biggest, most abundant time of the year, Lammas is still worth celebrating with fresh fruits, veggies, wine, and fresh cakes.
Lammas is a time when gardens and fields of wheat and corn are bursting with life and ready for the picking.
But it also signals the end of summer... the last warm summer nights before the chill of fall sets in. So, there's also an aspect of using the last days of summer to party it up.
7 Modern Ways To Celebrate Lammas
For those of us who don't have a lot of grain to harvest, we can use this time for reflection and gratitude. Energetically, we can also use this time to reap what we've sown, either since the Summer Solstice or the beginning of the year.
That said, there are a ton of ways to celebrate the long, hot days before fall sets in.
Personally, I love the Sabbats. Since beginning to celebrate these Wheel of The Year holidays, I've had a much deeper appreciation for the seasons and the changes that come with them.
The more you understand nature and magic of change, the less you find yourself resisting hot muggy summers and biting winter days.
At least in my experience.
All of that said -- if you're a summer baby like me, you might be dreading that fall is just around the corning. Celebrating holidays like Lammas can help.
Here are just a few ideas for a modern Lammas celebration.
#1: Set Up A Lammas Altar
Different seasons and celebrations call for different altar decorations and offerings. For a step-by-step guide on setting up your first altar, check out this post.
For Lammas, start with flowers, herbs, fruits and veggies that are in season and being newly harvested. Your local farmers market is a great place to start.
Sunflowers, marigolds, mint, basil, and meadowsweet all go well on a Lammas altar. Meadowsweet was a sacred herb to ancient druids and used in everything from wedding crowns to healing potions.
Traditionally, folks would make little dolls from corn husks or place bundles of grain on their altars. Little bowls of oast, rye, or barley would also work.
Colors of Lammas include greens of all shades, but also gold, yellow, or orange to represent the highest exaltation of the sun.
Crystals for your Lammas alter should include anything representing abundance and fertility. Citrine, aventurine, carnelian, and sunstone are all good options.
#2: Perform Abundance Spells
Lammas is a time of great abundance. Crops have had months to flourish and it's time for a bountiful harvest. And if you can barely grow a sprig of rosemary? No worries... you can harness the energy of the harvest for other things.
Do an abundance ritual or spell to bring in more money, love, time, ease, energy, health... really anything that you want an abundance of.
#3: Host a potluck dinner with friends and/or family.
This is basically how I celebrate every equinox. It's so rare to celebrate the passage of the seasons in this way! We get together for a few key holidays per year, but what about recognizing the earth in all her glory as she passes through all her different phases?
Show gratitude for your food, drink, family and friends... not everyone is so lucky to have the abundance of food on the table every night. Or friends to share it with!
Our ancestors knew this because a bad harvest or a big storm would wipe out enough food to keep them hungry for months. It's incredibly likely that if you're reading this post, hunger isn't a problem for you.
If it is, then celebrate and give thanks for what you do have. Gratitude and tapping into the energy of abundance only bring more of what we need.
#4: Shop at the farmers market
One of the best ways to celebrate the seasons is to consume what's in season. Shopping at a farmer's market gets you outside with the sun on your skin and a soft breeze in your hair.
Not only are you seeing what's in season, but you're also usually meeting (and supporting) the farmers who picked it.
Notice the incredible bounty at your fingertips this time of year. And if you can't make it to the market, do a little extra research and make it a point to only buy seasonal foods.
#5: Clean and re-organize your house
Any seasonal transition marks a great time to turn inward and take stock of everything you already have.
Go through closets, your car, the garage, and old filing systems. Get rid of what you no longer need or what no longer sparks joy (thanks, Ms. Kondo). Dust and clean your toilets.
You can also do a big energy cleansing of your home with sacred smoke, resins, and other cleansing tools.
#6: Write down everything you’ve accomplished so far this year
We're all so used to forging ahead after the last goal is accomplished with little to no recognition of what's just gone down!
Since Lammas is a holiday of abundance, make a list of your accomplishments, the goals you've surpassed, and the money or success you've earned.
Light some green candles and read the list out loud to yourself. Sit in meditation or prayer, tapping into the feeling of gratitude and abundance.
#7: Spend as much time in nature as possible
Go on a hike, plan a camping trip, go to the beach. The cooler months are just around the corner. Squeeze the life out of summer while you can!
Another Lammas tradition is collecting seeds from your plants for spring planting season. If you do have a garden, spend some time cleaning up your beds, pruning, and collecting and organizing seeds.
All of these practices are a bit more modern than crafting a corn doll or baking fresh. Although that last one sounds delicious.
The main goal when working with Lammas is to celebrate and give thanks for abundance, so as long as you're doing that, you're golden.