Friday, August 01, 2014

Family Lughnasadh, On Vacation

This year, Lughnasadh finds our family, on vacation.  I had such plans.  Really I did.  It's fun to celebrate Lughnasadh with kids.  I was going to pick up corn husks from the local Mexican Market, and some twine and yarn, and we were going to make corn husk dollies, and corn wheels.  I was going to bring things from our alter, so that we have a really nice celebration, even away from home.

But this is me.  Naturally, I forgot to do any of those things.

Maybe I should explain, because some people might not know what Lughnasadh is.  Pronounced Loo-nah-sah, it's the first of three harvest festivals celebrated as the Wheel of the Year turns.  The Irish myth that the word comes from, tells how the God Lugh held a festival in honor of his mother who died of exhaustion, preparing the land to be farmed.  What a good son, right?  For centuries the festival has marked the first harvest of the season.  The weather is warm, the earth is providing good food, and people are happy. Of course, over the centuries, any celebration will change some. You can read more about how we celebrate it now, here.

Anyhow, as I said, I had plans of bringing things with us to make corn wheels and corn husk dollies and then having a small circle to celebrate.  Maybe with some fresh baked bread.  But as I tried to remember to bring everyone underwear, (which I did by the way, SCORE!) I forgot to acquire or bring anything we would need for a celebration here. Fail.

The great thing about an Earth-based religion, of course, is that we don't really need any of those things. They're tools, not necessities.  All we need is ourselves and the land.  Later today we will go outside (remembering bug spray this time) hold hands, and thank the Gods for the many gifts we've been given.

There's another theme in Lughnasadh, besides bounty: Sacrifice.  I mean, the festival originally commemorated the great sacrifice that Lugh's mother Ethniu made clearing the land for the people to grow food.  One of the things that I think is important for Lughnasadh, is asking my children to think about what sacrifices they can make.  I like them to think in terms of service.  What can they do for others?  How can they be helpful?  What can they do to protect the Earth we live on? I want my kids to start looking at the world and find ways to make it better.  I mean, that's a good plan for everyone, whatever their faith, right?

For us, it is our last day here in this incredibly lovely part of Minnesota, in a house we have loved.  We feel very grateful.  That we get to celebrate Lughnasadh here, is a fantastic bonus.

If you'd like to know more, or are looking for some resources, here are a few things to check out.  Please let me know if you think there is something I should add.  And I'd love to hear how you and your family are celebrating, if you celebrate.

Lughnasadh Links:
Make corn husk dollies
Make corn wheels
Children's story for Lughnasadh
Pooka Pages Magazine for kids: Lughnasadh issue

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