A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by religious institutions, or other groups or organizations; the degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, the type of job held or personal choices. The concept of holidays originated in connection with religious observances; the intention of a holiday was to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities. In many societies there are important distinctions between holidays designated by governments and holidays designated by religious institutions. For example, in many predominantly Christian nations, government-designed holidays may center on Christian holidays, though non-Christians may instead observe religious holidays associated with their faith.
In some cases, a holiday may only be nominally observed. For example, many Jews in the Americas and Europe treat the minor Jewish holiday of Hanukkah as a "working holiday", changing little of their daily routines for this day; the word holiday has differing connotations in different regions. In the United States the word is used to refer to the nationally, religiously or culturally observed day of rest or celebration, or the events themselves, whereas in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations, the word may refer to the period of time where leave from one’s duties has been agreed, is used as a synonym to the US preferred vacation; this time is set aside for rest, travel or the participation in recreational activities, with entire industries targeted to coincide or enhance these experiences. The days of leave may not coincide with any specific laws. Employers and educational institutes may designate ‘holidays’ themselves which may or may not overlap nationally or culturally relevant dates, which again comes under this connotation, but it is the first implication detailed that this article is concerned with.
The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg. The word referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere features many holidays that involve feasts; the Christmas and holiday season surrounds the Christmas and other holidays, is celebrated by many religions and cultures. This period begins near the start of November and ends with New Year's Day. Holiday season in the US corresponds to the period that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year's Eve; some Christian countries consider the end of the festive season to be after the feast of Epiphany. Sovereign nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history. For example, Americans celebrate Independence Day, celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Other secular holidays are observed nationally and across multi-country regions.
The United Nations Calendar of Observances dedicates decades to a specific topic, but a complete year, month and days. Holidays dedicated to an observance such as the commemoration of the ending of World War II, or the Shoah, can be part of the reparation obligation as per UN OHCHR Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law. Another example of a major secular holiday is the Lunar New Year, celebrated across Asia. Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, but are not holidays as time off work is given; these are holidays. These holidays are celebrated by various individuals; some promote a cause, others recognize historical events not recognized, others are "funny" holidays celebrated with humorous intent. For example, Monkey Day is celebrated on December 14, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is observed on September 19, Blasphemy Day is held on September 30.
Other examples are April Fool's Day on April 1 and Liberation Day on May 31. Various community organizers and marketers promote odd social media holidays. Many holidays are linked to religions. Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year, the chief ones being Easter and Christmas; the Orthodox Christian and Western-Roman Catholic patronal feast day or "name day" are celebrated in each place's patron saint's day, according to the Calendar of saints. Jehovah's Witnesses annually commemorate "The Memorial of Jesus Christ's Death", but do not celebrate other holidays with any religious significance such as Easter, Christmas or New Year's; this holds true for those holidays that have combined and absorbed rituals, overtones or practices from non-Christian beliefs into the celebration, as well as those holidays that distract from or replace the worship of Jehovah. In Islam, the largest holidays are Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
Wicca termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a contemporary Pagan new religious movement. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and was introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. Wicca draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan and 20th-century hermetic motifs for its theological structure and ritual practices. Wicca has no central authority figure, its traditional core beliefs and practices were outlined in the 1940s and 1950s by Gardner and Doreen Valiente, both in published books as well as in secret written and oral teachings passed along to their initiates. There are many variations on the core structure, the religion grows and evolves over time, it is divided into a number of diverse lineages and denominations, referred to as traditions, each with its own organisational structure and level of centralisation. Due to its decentralized nature, there is some disagreement over what constitutes Wicca; some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to similar traditions, but not to newer, eclectic traditions.
Wicca is duotheistic, worshipping a Goddess and a God. These are traditionally viewed as the Horned God, respectively; these deities may be regarded in a henotheistic way, as having many different divine aspects which can in turn be identified with many diverse pagan deities from different historical pantheons. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as the "Great Goddess" and the "Great Horned God", with the adjective "great" connoting a deity that contains many other deities within their own nature; these two deities are sometimes viewed as facets of a greater pantheistic divinity, regarded as an impersonal force or process rather than a personal deity. While duotheism or bitheism is traditional in Wicca, broader Wiccan beliefs range from polytheism to pantheism or monism to Goddess monotheism. Wiccan celebrations encompass both the cycles of the Moon, known as Esbats and associated with the Goddess, the cycles of the Sun, seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats and associated with the Horned God.
An unattributed statement known as the Wiccan Rede is a popular expression of Wiccan morality, although it is not universally accepted by Wiccans. Wicca involves the ritual practice of magic, though it is not always necessary. Scholars of religious studies classify Wicca as a new religious movement, more as a form of modern Paganism. Cited as the largest, best known, most influential, most extensively academically studied form of Paganism, within the movement it has been identified as sitting on the former end of the eclectic to reconstructionist spectrum. Several academics have categorised Wicca as a form of nature religion, a term, embraced by many of its practitioners. However, given that Wicca incorporates the practice of magic, several scholars have referred to it as a "magico-religion". Wicca is a form of Western esotericism, more a part of the esoteric current known as occultism. Although recognised as a religion by academics, some evangelical Christians have attempted to deny it legal recognition as such, while some Wiccan practitioners themselves eschew the term "religion" – associating the latter purely with organised religion – instead favouring "spirituality" or "way of life".
Although Wicca as a religion is distinct from other forms of contemporary Paganism, there has been much "cross-fertilization" between these different Pagan faiths. The terms wizard and warlock are discouraged in the community. In Wicca, denominations are referred to as traditions, while non-Wiccans are termed cowans; when the religion first came to public attention, it was called "Witchcraft". For instance, Gerald Gardner—the man regarded as the "Father of Wicca"—referred to it as the "Craft of the Wise", "witchcraft", "the witch-cult" during the 1950s. There is no evidence that he called it "Wicca", although he did refer to the collective community of Pagan Witches as "the Wica"; as a name for the religion, "Wicca" developed in Britain during the 1960s. It is not known who invented the term "Wicca" in reference to the religion, although one possibility is that it might have been Gardner's rival Charles Cardell, referring to it as the "Craft of the Wiccens" by 1958; the first recorded use of the word "Wicca" appears in 1962, it had been popularised to the extent that several British practitioners founded a newsletter called The Wiccan in 1968.
Although pronounced differently, the Modern English term "Wicca" is derived from the Old English wicca and wicce, the masculine and feminine term for witch, used in Anglo-Saxon England. By adopting it for modern usage, Wiccans were both symbolically cementing their connection to the ancient, pre-Christian past, adopting a self-designation that would be less controversial than "Witchcraft". In early sources "Wicca" referred to the entirety of the religion rather than specific traditions. In ensuing decades, members of certain traditions – those known as British Traditional Wicca – began claiming that only they should be termed "Wiccan", that other forms of the religion must not use it. From the late 1980s onwards various books propagating Wicca were published that again used the former, broader definition of the word. Thus, by the 1980s, there were two competing de
Lammas Day, is a holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere between 1 August and 1 September. It is a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest, is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer Solstice and Autumn September Equinox; the loaf was blessed, in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards to work magic: a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain. In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to it is called "the feast of first fruits"; the blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August.
Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus' death. In medieval times the feast was sometimes known in England and Scotland as the "Gule of August", but the meaning of "gule" is unclear. Ronald Hutton suggests following the 18th-century Welsh clergyman antiquary John Pettingall that it is an Anglicisation of Gŵyl Awst, the Welsh name of the "feast of August". OED and most etymological dictionaries give it a more circuitous origin similar to gullet. Several antiquaries beginning with John Brady offered a back-construction to its being known as Lamb-mass, under the undocumented supposition that tenants of the Cathedral of York, dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula, of which this is the feast, would have been required to bring a live lamb to the church, or, with John Skinner, "because Lambs grew out of season."
This is a folk etymology, of which OED notes that it was "subsequently felt as if from LAMB + MASS". For many villeins, the wheat must have run low in the days before Lammas, the new harvest began a season of plenty, of hard work and company in the fields, reaping in teams, thus there was a spirit of celebratory play. In the medieval agricultural year, Lammas marked the end of the hay harvest that had begun after Midsummer. At the end of hay-making a sheep would be loosed in the meadow among the mowers, for him to keep who could catch it. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet it is observed of Juliet, "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen." Since Juliet was born Lammas eve, she came before the harvest festival, significant since her life ended before she could reap what she had sown and enjoy the bounty of the harvest, in this case full consummation and enjoyment of her love with Romeo. Another well-known cultural reference is the opening of The Battle of Otterburn: "It fell about the Lammas tide when the muir-men win their hay".
William Hone speaks in The Every-Day Book of a festive Lammas day sport common among Scottish farmers near Edinburgh. He says that they "build towers...leaving a hole for a flag-pole in the centre so that they may raise their colours." When the flags over the many peat-constructed towers were raised, farmers would go to others' towers and attempt to "level them to the ground." A successful attempt would bring great praise. However, people were allowed to defend their towers, so everyone was provided with a "tooting-horn" to alert nearby country folk of the impending attack and the battle would turn into a "brawl." According to Hone, more than four people had died at this festival and many more were injured. At the day's end, races were held, with prizes given to the townspeople. Lughnasadh or Lammas is the name used for one of the eight sabbats in the Neopagan Wheel of the Year, it is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being the autumn equinox and Samhain. In the Northern Hemisphere it takes place around 1 August, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated around 1 February.
Lammas is one of the Scottish quarter days. Lammas leaves or Lammas growth refers to a second crop of leaves produced in high summer by some species of trees in temperate countries to replace those lost to insect damage, they differ in shape, texture and/or hairiness from the earlier leaves. A low impact development project at Tir y Gafel, Pembrokeshire, Lammas Ecovillage is a collective initiative for nine self-built homes, it was the first such project to obtain planning permission based on a predecessor of what is now the sixth national planning guidance for sustainable rural communities proposed by the One Planet Council. The Doctor Who serial The Image of the Fendahl, takes place on Lammas Eve. In the Inspector Morse episode "Day of the Devil", Lammas Day is presented as a Satanic holy day, "the Devil's day". Katherine Kurtz's alternate World War II "history" takes its title, Lammas Night, from pagan tradition surrounding the first of August and the Divine Right of Kings. Harvest Home Ould Lammas Fair Leyton Marshes Pretanic World Pre-Christian Holidays & Pre-Christian Traditions of Christian Holidays from Britain and Ireland Observations on Popular Antiquities
Stephen Anthony McNallen is an American proponent of the modern Pagan new religious movement of Heathenry and a white nationalist activist. He founded the Asatru Folk Assembly, which he led from 1994 until 2016, having been the founder of the Viking Brotherhood and the Asatrú Free Assembly. Born in Breckenridge, Texas, McNallen developed an interest in pre-Christian Scandinavia while in college. In 1969–70 he founded the Viking Brotherhood, through which he printed a newsletter, The Runestone, to promote a form of Heathenry that he called "Asatru". After spending four years in the United States Army, he transformed the Viking Brotherhood into the Asatrú Free Assembly, through which he promoted Heathenry within the American Pagan community, he espoused the belief, which he named "metagenetics", that religions are connected to genetic inheritance, thus arguing that Heathenry was only suitable for those of Northern European ancestry. A growing membership generated internal conflict within the AFA, resulting in McNallen's decision to expel those with neo-Nazi and racial extremist views from the organisation.
Under increasing personal strain, in 1987 he disbanded the Assembly. Moving to Northern California, McNallen began a career as a school teacher. Concerned by what he saw as the growth of liberal, universalist ideas in Heathenry, he returned to active involvement in the Heathen movement in the mid-1990s, establishing the Asatrú Folk Assembly, headquartered in Grass Valley, California. In 1997 he was involved in the establishment of the International Asatru/Odinist Alliance alongside Valgard Murray's Ásatrú Alliance and the British Odinic Rite, he brought greater attention to his group after they became involved in the debate surrounding the Kennewick Man, arguing that it constituted evidence for a European presence in prehistoric America. In the 21st century he became more politically active, becoming involved in both environmentalist campaigns and white nationalist groups linked to the alt-right movement. McNallen is a controversial figure in the wider Pagan community, his espousal of right-wing ethnonationalist ideas and his insistence that Heathenry should be reserved for those of Northern European ancestry has resulted in accusations of racism from both Pagans and the mainstream media.
Conversely, many on the extreme right of the Heathen movement have accused him of being a race traitor for his opposition to neo-Nazism and refusal to endorse white supremacism. McNallen was born in the rural town of Breckenridge, Texas on October 15, 1948 to a family of practicing Roman Catholics. After high school, he attended Midwestern State University in Texas. While there, he began to investigate alternative religions, reading about the modern Pagan religion of Wicca and the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley. In his freshman year of college he read a novel, The Viking, by Edison Marshall, which generated his interest in the societies of pre-Christian Scandinavia. According to him, upon reading this book he "got hooked on the spirit of the North", being attracted to the Vikings by what he perceived as "their warlike nature, their will to power, their assertion of self". In 1968 or 1969 he dedicated himself to the worship of the deities found in Norse mythology, remained a solitary devotee of theirs for about two years.
He noted that on becoming a Heathen, he went through "a stridently anti-Christian phase", that while he mellowed in his opinion of Christianity and Christians, he still believed the religion to be "a faulty faith, a foreign imposition on European soil" which had eroded "our traditional culture" and "done us great damage". In 1969–70, McNallen founded the Viking Brotherhood, issuing a "Viking Manifesto" in which he stated that the Brotherhood was "dedicated to preserving and practicing the Norse religion as it was epitomized during the Viking Age, to further the moral and ethical values of courage and independence which characterized the Viking way of life." While the group placed greater emphasis on promoting what McNallen perceived as the Viking ideals — "courage and freedom" — rather than on explicitly religious goals, in 1972 they gained tax-exempt status as a religious organization from the Internal Revenue Service. In the winter of 1971–72 he began publishing a newsletter, The Runestone, using a typewriter and mimeograph machine.
He used the term "Norse religion" to describe the Heathen religion that he was practicing, before adopting the term "Odinism" from the work of Danish Heathen Else Christensen. He changed it once again, this time to "Asatru", which he had discovered in Magnus Magnusson's book, Hammer of the North, subsequently popularized within the American Heathen community. During his college years, McNallen had been a cadet in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, on completion received a degree in political science. After completing his college education he joined the United States Army, remaining with them for four years, volunteering for service in the Vietnam War before being stationed in West Germany. Although frustrated at what he described as the "authoritarian stupidity" of the army, it impacted his views on warrior ethics and warrior ideals, he retained his interest in Heathenry while a member of the army, circa 1974 adopted the belief that there was an intrinsic connection between the Norse gods and humans of Northern European descent.
After his discharge from the Army in 1976, McNallen hitchhiked across the Sahara Desert before returning to Europe an
The Dísablót was the blót, held in honour of the female spirits or deities called dísir, from pre-historic times until the Christianization of Scandinavia. Its purpose was to enhance the coming harvest, it is mentioned in Víga-Glúms saga, Egils saga and the Heimskringla. The celebration still lives on in the form of an annual fair called the Disting in Sweden; the Dísablót appears to have been held at the vernal equinox. In one version of Hervarar saga, there is a description of. Alfhildr, the daughter of king Alfr of Alfheim, was kidnapped by Starkad Aludreng while she was reddening a horgr with blood; this suggests that the rite was performed by women in light of what is believed to be their nearly exclusive role as priestesses of the pagan Germanic religion. However, according to the Ynglinga saga part of the Heimskringla, the king of Sweden performed the rites, in accordance with his role as high priest of the Temple at Uppsala; the mention of the Dísablót concerns the death of king Eadgils who died from falling off his horse while riding around the shrine: In Sweden, the Dísablót was of central political and social importance.
The festivities were held at the end of February or early March at Gamla Uppsala. It was held in conjunction with the great fair Disting and the great popular assembly called the Thing of all Swedes; the Icelandic historian Snorri Sturlusson, well-informed of Swedish matters and visited the country in 1219, explained in the Heimskringla: The shrine where the Dísir were worshiped was called dísarsalr and this building is mentioned in the Ynglinga saga concerning king Aðils' death. It appears Hervarar saga, where a woman becomes so infuriated over the death of her father by the hands of Heiðrekr, her husband, that she hangs herself in the shrine; the Scandinavian dísablót is associated with the Anglo-Saxon modranect by Gabriel Turville-Petre. The Anglo-Saxon month equivalent to November was called blot-monath; the number of references to the Disir ranging from the Merseburg Charms to many instances in Norse mythology indicate that they were considered vital deities to worship and that they were primary focus of prayers for luck against enemies in war.
Tamfana Ásatrú holidays Valkyrie
May Day is a public holiday celebrated on 1 May. It is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances and cake are part of the festivities. In the late 19th century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago. International Workers' Day can be referred to as "May Day", but it is a different celebration from the traditional May Day; the earliest known May celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on 27 April during the Roman Republic era, the Maiouma or Maiuma, a festival celebrating Dionysus and Aphrodite on an unknown date in May every three years. The Floralia opened with theatrical performances. In the Floralia, Ovid says that goats were released as part of the festivities. Persius writes that crowds were pelted with vetches and lupins. A ritual called the Florifertum was performed on either April 27 or May 3, during which a bundle of wheat ears was carried into a shrine, though it is not clear if this devotion was made to Flora or Ceres.
Floralia concluded with competitive events and spectacles, a sacrifice to Flora. According to the 6th century chronicles of John Malalas, the Maiouma was a "nocturnal dramatic festival, held every three years and known as Orgies, that is, the Mysteries of Dionysus and Aphrodite" and that it was "known as the Maioumas because it is celebrated in the month of May-Artemisios". During this time, enough money was set aside by the government for torches and other expenses to cover a thirty-day festival of "all-night revels." The Maiouma was celebrated with splendorous offerings. Its reputation for licentiousness caused it to be suppressed during the reign of Emperor Constantine, though a less debauched version of it was restored during the reigns of Arcadius and Honorius, only to be suppressed again during the same period. A May festival celebrated in Germanic countries, Walpurgis Night, commemorates the official canonization of Saint Walpurga on May 1st, 870.. In Gaelic culture, the evening of April 30th was the celebration of Beltane, the start of the summer season.
First attested in 900 AD, the celebration focused on the symbolic use of fire to bless cattle and other livestock as they were moved to summer pastures. This custom continued into the early 19th century, during which time cattle would be made to jump over fires to protect their milk from being stolen by fairies. People would leap over the fires for luck. Since the 18th century, many Roman Catholics have observed May – and May Day – with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary In works of art, school skits, so forth, Mary's head will be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. 1 May is one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, surrogate father of Jesus. Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a counterpoint to the communist International Workers Day celebrations on May Day; the best known modern May Day traditions, observed both in Europe and North America, include dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the tradition of giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps. In the late 20th century, many neopagans began reconstructing some of the older pagan festivals and combining them with more developed European secular and Catholic traditions, celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival. Traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole, around which dancers circle with ribbons. Morris dancing has been linked to May Day celebrations; the earliest records of maypole celebrations date to the 14th century, by the 15th century the maypole tradition was well established in southern Britain. The spring bank holiday on the first Monday in May was created in 1978. In February 2011, the UK Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October coinciding with Trafalgar Day, to create a "United Kingdom Day".
Unlike the other Bank Holidays and common law holidays, the first Monday in May is taken off from schools by itself, not as part of a half term or end of term holiday. This is because it has no Christian significance and does not otherwise fit into the usual school holiday pattern. May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by Puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660. 1 May 1707, was the day the Act of Union came into effect, joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In Oxford, it is a centuries-old tradition for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night's celebrations. Since the 1980s some people jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. For some years, the bridge has been closed on 1 Ma
Lughnasadh or Lughnasa is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. It was observed throughout Ireland and the Isle of Man. In Modern Irish it is called Lúnasa, in Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal, in Manx: Luanistyn. Traditionally it is held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. However, in recent centuries some of the celebrations shifted to the Sundays nearest this date. Lughnasadh is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Samhain and Beltane, it corresponds to other European harvest festivals such as the Welsh Gŵyl Awst and the English Lammas. Lughnasadh has pagan origins; the festival itself is named after the god Lugh. It involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests, feasting and trading. There were visits to holy wells. According to folklorist Máire MacNeill, evidence shows that the religious rites included an offering of the'first fruits', a feast of the new food and of bilberries, the sacrifice of a bull and a ritual dance-play in which Lugh seizes the harvest for mankind and defeats the powers of blight.
Much of the activities would have taken place on top of mountains. Lughnasadh customs persisted until the 20th century, with the event being variously named'Garland Sunday','Bilberry Sunday','Mountain Sunday' and'Crom Dubh Sunday'; the custom of climbing hills and mountains at Lughnasadh has survived in some areas, although it has been re-cast as a Christian pilgrimage. The best known is the'Reek Sunday' pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick on the last Sunday in July. A number of fairs are believed to be survivals of Lughnasadh, for example the Puck Fair. Since the late 20th century, Celtic neopagans have observed Lughnasadh, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. In some places, elements of the festival have been revived as a cultural event. In Old Irish, the name was Lugnasad; this is a combination of Lug and násad, unstressed when used as a suffix. Spellings include Luᵹ̇nasaḋ, Lughnasadh and Lughnasa. In Modern Irish, the spelling is Lúnasa, the name for the month of August; the genitive case is Lúnasa as in Mí Lúnasa and Lá Lúnasa.
In Modern Scottish Gaelic, the festival and the month are both called Lùnastal. In Manx, the festival and the month are both called Luanistyn; the day itself may be called either Laa Luanys. In Welsh, the day is known as Calan Awst a Latin term, the Calends of August in English. In Breton, the day was known as the Feast of August. In Irish mythology, the Lughnasadh festival is said to have begun by the god Lugh as a funeral feast and athletic competition in commemoration of his mother or foster-mother Tailtiu, she was said to have died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Tailtiu may have been an earth goddess; the funeral games in her honour were called the Óenach Tailten or Áenach Tailten and were held each Lughnasadh at Tailtin in what is now County Meath. According to medieval writings, kings attended this óenach and a truce was declared for its duration, it was similar to the Ancient Olympic Games and included ritual athletic and sporting contests, horse racing and storytelling, proclaiming laws and settling legal disputes, drawing-up contracts, matchmaking.
At Tailtin, trial marriages were conducted, whereby young couples joined hands through a hole in a wooden door. The trial marriage lasted a year and a day, at which time the marriage could be made permanent or broken without consequences. A similar Lughnasadh festival, the Óenach Carmain, was held in. Carman is believed to have been a goddess one with a similar tale as Tailtiu; the Óenach Carmain included a food market, a livestock market, a market for foreign traders. After the 9th century the Óenach Tailten was celebrated irregularly and it died out, it was revived for a period in the 20th century as the Tailteann Games. A 15th century version of the Irish legend Tochmarc Emire is one of the earliest documents to record these festivities. From the 18th century to the mid 20th century, many accounts of Lughnasadh customs and folklore were recorded. In 1962 The Festival of Lughnasa, a study of Lughnasadh by folklorist Máire MacNeill, was published. MacNeill studied surviving Lughnasadh customs and folklore as well as the earlier accounts and medieval writings about the festival.
She concluded that the evidence testified to the existence of an ancient festival around 1 August that involved the following: A solemn cutting of the first of the corn of which an offering would be made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it. A ceremony indicating th