Lammas….the festival of first harvest

Today we are celebrating Lammas; the festival of first harvest, or the bread feast.
At Lammas we harvest seeds from our crops; an activity filled with symbolism. When we harvest seed from our crops we are reaping the rewards of our labors during the season (if I hadn’t planted, weeded and carried bath water to the silverbeet all summer, I wouldn’t be harvesting seeds from it now), we are also gathering the hope for future seasons (I will plant the seed I harvest to grow more silverbeet).

Lammas in Australia

The song ‘John Barleycorn must die’ is a song about the yearly cycle of grain growing…symbolically.

This year we made a bread man to share and harvested the corn we planted in the sacred garden at Ostara. We also made some corn dolls to be buried with the corn when we plant it next Ostara.
Corn dolls are a really old tradition/ art from our various ancestors; making a doll from some of the harvest gives the spirit of the grain a place to live until it is planted again. They also make a sweet little decoration for the altar.

Amerind corn dolls
Celtic corn dolls

How to make corn dolls

The seed packets I made to hold our corn seed.

The corn dolls and some seed packets.

A close up of my Corn Lady, she is tied together with home spun wool (that I spun myself)

The Bread Man, he represents a thank you for the sacrifice the wheat makes so that we can eat bread for the year.

Our Lammas altar.

Hanging the Corn Lord mask

The corn before the harvest in the sacred garden.

The altar in the dusk.

It’s almost time to replant the sacred garden. There are still pumpkins in there for Samhain though (well, A pumpkin)

Harvesting the corn

The Bread Man loses his head (with an appropriate thank you)

Bread Man dipped in honey; is there anything more yummy at this time of year?

We also got a cute twinned cob

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