The First Harvest is upon us, and it’s time to grab ahold of that ripening energy and celebrate! Below you will find 18 ideas to celebrate the First Harvest!
What is the First Harvest
First Harvest is simply the celebration of the beginning of harvest season on August 1st. Historically it coincided with Christianity to become Lammas, which means Loaf-Mass and is celebrated by baking the first bread of the harvest season with fresh grain. This was a huge deal back when grain was pivotal to survival, and a bad grain season could mean death to many. First Harvest, as you may already know, is the first of the 3 Autumn harvests.
Who Can celebrate
As with all Earth-bound celebrations, First Harvest is not a religious, nor political thing. If you live on this beautiful planet then you should celebrate the First Harvest. This season is about showing gratitude towards the earth, a time of gathering in and resting after hard work.
Why should we celebrate the first harvest
In short, the First Harvest is a time of ripening. We have worked hard – perhaps not in the fields, but in our lives, towards our goals, in our work, for our families. This is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come, the cultivation of that hard work. However, it is a time of ripening, which means not all has ripened yet. There is a need to face fears, perhaps the grain will not produce. This is not yet a time to rest, but to face what scares us and deal with it. But with those fears come hope, the need to keep working hard, and the knowledge that the universe will provide.
Gratitude to the Earth is key, we may or may not be living in abundance the way we believe we should, but we should always be thankful for what we do have. The universe will always provide what we need, not necessarily what we want. Use this time to face inward, face our shadows and celebrate.
How to celebrate Lammas
The First Harvest was originally referred to as Lughnasadh, a festival named for the god Lugh himself (the name itself meaning an assembly for the god Lugh). Over time it became interchangeable with the Christian holiday Lammas or Loaf-Mass Day which also marked the halfway point between the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. In modern times both holidays have become almost entirely interchangeable, with most if not all traditions crossing each other.
This time of year is celebrated through religious ceremonies, feasting, matchmaking, and often athletic contests such as racing to the top of a hill.
18 Ideas to celebrate the first harvest
1 | Harvest: The most obvious of all, it’s time to get dirty and harvest your garden for the early fall crops. Berries, peaches, tomatoes, and corn are among the many delicious fruits and veggies available for harvest come August. If you have a garden, it’s time to pull out the first of these yummy foods, but if you don’t have a garden, don’t fret. Local community gardens allow you to join in the fun or find a local farm that allows picking.
2 | Refresh your Altar: Any change in the season is the perfect time to refresh your altar (or home in general if you have no altar). Whether you have one or not, I have all the ideas for the perfect First Harvest goodies here.
3 | Rituals for Prosperity: First Harvest is about hope and fear of what is to come, which makes it the perfect time to do rituals or spells for prosperity and abundance. Ask the universe for what you require and let go. Check my 12 Laws of the Universe and Writing a letter to the universe, for more information on manifestation processes.
4 | Gardening: Not to be confused with harvesting itself, now is the time to set up for the future by sowing your fall garden after harvesting your spring garden. From broccoli to kale, to carrots and spinach, there are lots of delicious foods to get in the ground on August 1st!
5 | Bake Bread: As you may have guessed from the name Lammas, meaning loaf-mass, this is the perfect time to bake some fresh bread! This is symbolic of grain being the first to be harvested in August historically and was made into fresh bread for the family to enjoy before storing the rest for winter. Try your hand at any of these mouthwatering recipes in my Bread Recipes for Lammas Roundup!
6 | Light a Candle: Orange, gold, and yellow are symbolic of the season (notice the colors of grain), lighting a candle of these colors are used to send thanks to the universe for the first harvest and celebrate this season’s energy.
7 | Go for a Walk: Communing with nature is the best way to celebrate any season. A simple walk outside, whether at the park, on a trail, or just around your suburban block is an easy way to connect to the earth and the season’s energy. Take a deep breath of the (hopefully fresh) air, and say thanks for the abundance in your life.
8 | Hill Climbing: A traditional celebration to get as close to the sun as possible. Historically, the sun was worshipped and on First Harvest, it was important to get as close to the sun as possible to bask in its glory and show thanks. If you’re really feeling the spirit, try challenging friends and family to race to the top of a local highpoint!
9 | Bake a Pie: This delicious tradition utilizes fresh fruits and berries picked from your harvest that day. It was a great way of showing thanks for the harvest and sharing with your friends and family. Try Blackberry Raspberry Poptarts, Blueberry Galettes, or Edisto Tomato Pie!
10 | Cook: On that note, try cooking a full feast for your friends and family! Recipes full of seasonal foods such as Herb Mushroom Barley Side Dish, Roasted Beet Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad, and Pumpkin Lasagne are all perfect for celebrating the first harvest!
11 | Have a Drink: Today we celebrate grain in particular, and what better way to celebrate grain than with our favorite beverage: beer! (Bonus points if you brew the beer yourself!) Not your preference? Grapes are also in season, so pour yourself a glass of wine instead! Of course of legal age only, but it’s only proper after baking a delicious pie, with a fabulous feast to sit back and cap the day with your favorite local beverage.
12 | Butter some Popcorn: With fresh corn right off the stalks, there is no better way to complete our feist than with some popcorn. This snack stable has been around for thousands of years in dozens of cultures around the world. Modern traditions put butter and even herbs on it, so don’t be afraid to try something new and share it with your family.
13 | Make Straw Dolls: Straw dolls are used to welcome light and sun into a home and show thanks. They are typically kept until the following Spring for luck towards a good harvest and a reminder of the sun during the darkest parts of the year. Here’s a great tutorial!
14 | Burn Incense: Sandalwood, frankincense, and rose are traditional this time of year. Burn some in your home to utilize the energy, or even better create your own smudge sticks to personalize the ritual! Learn about these scents and more here.
15 | Build a cornucopia: Fall is well known for its use of cornucopias, but don’t be afraid to break it out early. Fill it with corn, tomatoes, and yummy berries fresh from the garden (or grocery store). Don’t forget to add some hay, wheat, or hops to complete the scene and show thanks for the abundance in your life!
16 | Set Intentions: Summer has almost come to an end – how would you like to utilize that energy? Set an intention for a last set of accomplishments to work towards!
17 | Leave Offerings: For those who believe (or want to) in the magick of faeries, First Harvest is a great time to leave offerings of freshly baked bread for the faerie folk.
18 | Bonfire: Bonfires are great for leaving sacrifices. Write a bad habit or memory you want to leave behind on a piece of paper, roll it up and toss it into the bonfire. As the paper burns your habit will dissipate with it!
These are just some of the many ways you can honor the sabbat of Lammas! How do you plan to celebrate the First Harvest? Share in the comments below.
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