Still Lughnasadh Without the Sunflowers

This year was to be our first ever Lughnasadh Sunflower Festival. Unfortunately, after inspection by someone who understands things better than I, we determined that the fields will need to be conditioned first. This is a long and laborious process. It involves plowing, harrowing, and several passes with a rock rake first. That can be done in the late summer or early autumn. But not in time to plant seeds.

It’s still Lughnasadh without the sunflowers. Lughnasadh is also associated with blueberries (called bilberries over the sea), horse fairs, theatrical performances and storytelling, flower and herb harvests… There were festal meals of beef (a bull was often offered on this day), potatoes, grains, and blueberry pies.

Lughnasadh is actually a remembrance of the funeral feast of Tailtiu, Lugh’s step-mother. She died of exhaustion clearing the fields of Ireland. In her honour, Lugh held a feast and games of strength and skill. I suppose it would not have been unlike the Highland games we know today, or a kind of field day as we have here in America.

And dancing. Dancing at Lughnasadh. Although it is a fire festival, there often is not a bonfire because there is no need. The sun provides warmth and light until late into the evening in the Old Country.

We’re having a rethink about how we can make the festival amazing even without the sunnies. If you have any further suggestions, send me an email!

Still Lughnasadh Without the Sunflowers


Just a woman trying to leave this place better than she found it. Farmer. Teacher. Creator. Cook.

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