Dancing at Lughnasa (Lúnasa): An ancient celtic harvest festival

The month of August is the first month of Autumn according to the ancient Celtic calendar. Lúnasa is the Irish name for the month of August.  Lá Lúnasa the first day of August was a day when people celebrated Lugh the Celtic God who would bring a good harvest or who, if not satisfied, could bring his wrath in storms that could destroy the harvest.  (Lughnasa was the more ancient spelling).  

The celebrations and rituals for the Lúnasa festival included games, storytelling, singing, dancing and feasting.   Many of the events took place on the top of hills and mountains.   Today in some parts of the country there are still old traditional events on the last Sunday of July.  Although today such events are christianised, the rituals have been continued since pre-Christian or pagan times.  This would include climbing Croagh Patrick mountain when thousands of people take part in the pilgrimage  and visiting Holy Wells the waters of which, it is believed, bring healing and comfort.   

The Award wining play and movie Dancing At Lughnasa by Irish playwright Brien Friel and starring Meryl Streep set in Donegal, is based on the true story of a family of sisters who are approaching the Autumn of life and are challenged by societal and family changes.   

deBlaca jewellery is modern in design but is influenced by Irish tradition and landscape.   It is designed and made in Ireland in gold and silver.

 


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