The Celtic cross-quarter day of Lammas falls on the 1st August and celebrates the beginning of the harvest season. To our agrarian ancestors it was a hugely important occasion celebrated by making bread from the first grains of the harvest and having a jolly good time!
In an effort to stop the majority of the population missing out on an excuse for an evening of drinking and debauchery here are five ways of celebrating the occasion!
- Take some new wheat and have a shot at making moonshine whiskey. This is illegal and you will be flogged, put in the stocks and pelted with rotten eggs and dog dung if you get caught so don’t … get caught!
- Join the local morris side for a round of hopping, skipping and knuckle bashing. Do this before sampling the moonshine otherwise you may end up under a hedge, bruised and bloody for spoiling their game.
- Make a corn dolly. You need to collect at least 12 stalks of corn under the cover of darkness when the moon is in the 5th phase. (They call it a dark moon). This is not an ancient ritual to empower your dolly with the supernatural, but the best way of avoiding the farmer who will accuse you of destroying his crops.
- Make a loaf. Do not look at the beautifully crafted pictures of plaits, pots and sculptures made by bakers with a million year lineage in baking as yours will only resemble your mother-in-law on one of her good days.
- Assuming you got away with the moonshine, invite all your pals around for a big party. Tell them to bring a set of sharp pins so you can take it in turns to give the corn dolly the name of their worst enemy and prick it repeatedly in all its important little places!
- Cremate your mother-in-law loaf over an open spit and feed to the dog!
Just a minute that’s six ways of celebrating Lammas? So it is! You expect me to count after that moonshine?