There are four significant seasonal festivals in the Celtic calendar and all centre around important times in nature and farming, heralding the beginning of new seasons and new activities.
They are Imbolc (February), Beltane or Beltene (May), Lughnasadh or Lughnasa (August) and Samhain (October).
The festival of Lughnasa, held on the first day of August and lasting throughout the month, was named after the god Lugh. In Celtic mythology, Lugh (which means "Shining One"), was not only associated with light and sun but also arts and crafts. August is a time when many crops, ripened by the summer sun, are finally ready to be harvested and indeed this year, Lughnasa marked the start of our own flax harvest here on Mallon farm. Flax is usually ready to harvest after around 100 days, and so far we have found this to be the case.
We harvest our flax by hand and arrange the flax bunches (beets) into stooks (stacks) around the field to dry, so plenty of sunshine in August is always very welcome!