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Lammas Day, the first day of August

Today is Lammas Day in Britain. A day with pre-christian and medieval roots, it celebrates the harvest and is one of many such festivals around the world occurring at various times dependent on weather and climate and time of harvest.

The first day of August, Lammas Day, occurs mid-way between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox and celebrates the end of the ‘hungry gap’, the time of year when food stocks were at their lowest, just before new produce was available at harvest time. Houses were decorated with garlands and it was customary to bring the first wheat harvest of the year in the form of a new loaf of bread to church -- a communion bread.

"And where have you been, my Mary,
And where have you been from me?"
"I've been to the top of the Caldon Low,
The midsummer night to see!"

"And what did you see, my Mary,
All up on the Caldon Low?"
"I saw the glad sunshine come down,
And I saw the merry winds blow."

"And what did you hear, my Mary,
All up on the Caldon Hill?"
"I heard the drops of the water made,
And the ears of the green corn fill."

"Oh! tell me all, my Mary -
All, all that ever you know;
For you must have seen the fairies
Last night on the Caldon Low."
- Mary Howitt, The Fairies of Caldon Low

The Old Farmer's Almanac says of Lammas day that it is the when the corn grows both day and night.

1 comment:

ever jeanne said...

lammas day. that's a new one. i've been having too many lammas days of late . . . with "corn" growing both day and night.

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