Lammastide- Beginnings and endings

August 1st is known as Lammas Day or as the Gaelic festival period of Lughnasadh. Lammas origins lie in the Christian liturgical calendar, it’s name deriving from the Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas meaning loaf-mass. It marked a time when the agricultural year and the Christian calendar came together. From Mediaeval times it marked the end of the hay harvest and the beginning of the grain. We have certainly seen that here at Talking Trees ‘headquarters’ as the hot spell in July resulted in fields being mown earlier than ever and grain crops ripening ahead of time. Traditionally a loaf is made from the first grain and blessed in the church. An Anglo-Saxon book of charms said that the Lammas bread should be broken into four parts, which were then to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles this time of the year was known as the feast of fruits.