Wiccan Holidays: Lughnasadh

The last leg of summer brings another turn of the Wheel of the Year and another Wiccan holiday. If you haven’t caught on by now, they essentially crop up every month and a half. On August 1, we celebrate Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-na-sa). Read on for a family-friendly craft activity that makes a great altar decoration!

Other names: Lammas, Lughnasa

What it is about: Lughnasadh marks the midpoint between the summer solstice and the fall equinox. It is the first of three harvest festivals, followed by Mabon in September and Samhain in October.

Decorating your altar or home: Colors I associate with this holiday are yellow for wheat, orange for the setting sun, and brown for the yielding earth. Symbols of the harvest such as corn dollies or cuttings from your personal garden would make great decorations. If you don’t have any of those on hand, check out the activities section below for the paper star project I designed and which I use each year to decorate my altar.

Contemplation topics: How can those of us who no longer live in an agricultural society relate to a harvest festival? Can you think of any projects for which you planted “seeds,” nurtured growth, and hope to see results? Which of your projects have come to fruition this year?

Activities: Follow these instructions to create beautiful paper stars to symbolize the fruits of your labor. You can invite your children, parents, roommates, or whoever to participate as well!

  1. Acquire some lightweight colored craft paper in hues you associate with this holiday. Cut them into thin strips, about a centimeter or half an inch wide. I usually cut about 15-20 strips, or a number that is spiritually significant to me like 18 (which symbolizes life in Judaism).
  2. Write one thing you have accomplished this year on each strip. These are the fruits of your labors.
  3. Fold each strip into a star.
    1. Start by tying the strip in a knot near the end and flattening it, which will create a pentagon shape.
    2. Wrap the rest of the of the strip around the pentagon. When you get to the end, tuck it into one of the folds.
    3. Pinch the corners to form a star shape.
    4. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube like this one if you need help visualizing these steps.
  4. Once you have folded all of your stars, strew them across your altar or put them in a jar on display in your home.

How do you celebrate Lughnasadh? What achievements and fruits have you reaped this year? Share with me in the comments below!

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