In Irish Celtic mythology, Tailtiu is the wife of the last king of Fir Bolg whose reign is renowned for his justice and prosperity. Adopted mother of God Lug, Tailtiu died of exhaustion after transforming the forests into arable land. When she dies, Lug organizes ceremonies in her honour at the Lugnasad Feast.
Celebrated on 1st August, Lugnasad – which means Lug Assembly – symbolizes a turning point in Mother Earth’s life cycle. This feast marks on one hand the abundance of the first harvests and on the other hand the decline of the power of the sun. Lugnasad is a joyful celebration and a wake.
For the ancients, the annual harvest reflected the human cycle of life and death. The time of harvest was associated with the spiritual abundance which nourished the soul as much as it foreshadowed the first autumn frosts during which the first seeds of introspection which will be made the following winter will begin to be laid. Lugnasad is therefore a transition feast.
Time of reunion and conviviality, period of truce, symbol of peace, friendship and abundance, this celebration erases all socio-cultural barriers and brings together the peoples who honour the fertility of the earth. We thank her through offerings to share with her what she has so generously given us. Lugnasad is a moment of sharing and giving, because to receive, you must also know how to give. It is therefore also an opportunity to take stock of one’s life and honour one’s debts.