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Lughnasadh or Lammas is a festival of the grain harvest and is celebrated with loaves of bread
The bounty of the grain harvest is depicted in this early 20th century "Peaceful Thanksgiving" gilded postcard by Leon Schmucker; the term Thanksgiving refers to any of a series of festivals celebrated according to the local timing of important regional harvests; the woman here holds freshly cut wheat

Lammas, Lughnasadh, First Harvest, Bread Harvest, Festival of First Fruits, and Gŵyl Galan Awst is a seasonal Pagan and Neo-Pagan festival which is celebrated as one of the eight holidays on the Wheel of the Year.

In the Northern Hemisphere it is held on August 1 - 2 (or, alternatively between August 3 and August 10) when the Sun is at 15° Leo.

In the Southern Hemisphere it is held on February 1 - 2 (or, alternatively between February 2 and February 7), when the Sun is at 15° Aquarius.

Loafmas or Lammas is referred to as the "feast of the first fruits" in the Chronicle of the Anglo-Saxons and it marks the year's first wheat and barley harvests, a time of Thanksgiving symbolizing the life force of the Pagan god who has gone into the corn and been killed in the form of scythed grain. The first breads baked with the new grain represent the gof's death, a sacrifice for the good of the land and the people, as related in the old rhyme, "John Barleycorn":

There was three men come out o' the West their fortunes for to try,
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die,
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in, throwed clods upon his head,
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead.

Among the folk practices of Anglo-Saxon England, in which Pagan and Christian traditions are conjoined, it is customary to bake a loaf of bread from the first grains of the new wheat and barley harvest, which was taken to church to be blessed. The bread was then broken into four pieces and placed in the four corners of the barn containing the corn harvest, to protect the grain.


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