Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy Lammastide!


Today was the feast of Lammas Day in medieval England. The word lammas is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon hlaef-maesse, or "loaf-mass, " a celebration of first-fruits. On this day, August 1, it was customary to bring a newly-baked loaf to church, so that the first wheat harvest could be blessed. Lammas was originally a pagan feast, and, falling between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, signalled the beginning of autumn in early England. After Lammastide, people expected the days to become shorter as the year waned. Winter actually began on October 31!

It's 90 degress or so here, and will be even hotter during the next few days -- not very autumnal! Nevertheless, I always feel more cheerful when August arrives. It's the beginning of the end of summer. There's something different about the light, somehow, as we move through August; and, of course, the days get slowly shorter. It won't be fall here for quite awhile, but never mind ...

I'll just smile and pretend I'm in England.

4 comments:

Jan said...

I wish I felt like it was autumn here in south Texas, but that won't come until the end of October--when they used to think it was "winter" in old England. Nice to know the traditions though.

Gabrielle said...

Well, Lammas Day is new to me, so I enjoyed hearing all about it. I think it's a marvelous excuse to head out to the bakery...I may celebrate it late, and perhaps even make it a drawn-out affair...

Sophia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I would love to be in England right now too.

I'm tired of the heat and summer in the city,

-Stephanie