The first day of August was one of the great pagan festivals celebrated in ancient Britain. Like so many other celebrations, it was taken over when Christianity arrived and named Lammus Day, the festival of the harvest. In Anglo Saxon times, Lammus became the ‘festival of the first fruits’ and loaves of bread made from the first wheat harvest were taken to church.
August was also the time when the harvested hay meadows were opened to the common people for grazing their animals, and it was marked by the holding of country fairs many of which survive to the present day. Although not practiced at today’s Lammus fairs, there was a tradition called hand-fasting whereby couples could embark on a trial marriage for one year after which they either stayed together or went their separate ways, no questions asked!
So, enjoy your Lammus day, and if you have a glass of beer or wine in your hand,raise it and toast your bread!