August Eve 2006

Blessed Lammas to everyone. I actually celebrate this Sabbat as August Eve, which means my celebrations should have been last night. Notice I say should. August Eve/LammasThe heat here in Southern Ontario has been horrific, and yesterday evening I was in no shape to bake bread. Today the heat is even worse, possibly reaching a high of 36°C (99°F) with a humidex of over 45°C (113°F). But, thankfully I am feeling much better today. (I thank all the gods that have every been and ever will be for air conditioning! And that is hardly an exaggeration.)

August Eve/Lammas/Lughnasadh is the first of the harvest Sabbats. Here in Southern Ontario we begin to see the start of the sweet corn harvest, as well as leek, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, apples, peaches, pears and watermelons. Some of the produce doesn’t actually come into season until a little later in August, but with the warm and wet weather we’ve had this summer, farmers have started their harvests early in some areas.

For many Wiccans, the major symbol of August Eve is bread. Lammas, an alternate name for the Sabbat, means loaf-mass, and was (and perhaps still is in some areas) a festival celebrating the first wheat harvest of the year. In Ontario, the wheat harvest starts some time in the middle of July, depending on the weather. Wheat, of course, is used to make bread. And what better way to celebrate the wheat harvest than to bake some lovely, fresh bread. (This, of course, is ignoring the fact that the flour most of us have in our cupboard was probably harvested some time last year… The joys of modern living.)

I did a search and found some pictures of a modern wheat harvest: SW Ontario Wheat Harvest Pictures. Another search netted this picture of a man harvesting wheat by handing using a sickle: Trade Workers in Turkey.

That brings me to another symbol of August Eve, the sickle. It is pretty clear why that would be, since the sickle is the traditional tool used for harvesting wheat. The sickle, sometimes referred to as a bolline by Wiccans (but this can also mean any white-handled working knife) is a tool that is used all year long. Generally, it is used for harvesting herbs or any other ritual cutting that may be needed. On August Eve, however, the sickle is special and usually takes a prominent place on the altar.

I hope everyone has a lovely, and cool, Sabbat. Be sure to enjoy some fresh bread, even if you don’t have time to bake some yourself.

1 Comment

One Response

  1. sarah says:

    Sadly i’ve been too sick to celebrate today, but i don’t think i would have any way. the temprature reached 105 F around 2 this afternoon here in east tennessee, and i don’t even want to think about what the humidity index was. i swear this is the hottest summer i can remember, and compleatly agree with you on the modern miracle of air conditioning. i wish you a happy lamas and send my blessings that your air conditioner does not break down like ours did a month ago. and sadly some people still do not believe in global worming.