Monday, January 13, 2014

High Day Essay: Third Cross-Quarter

The neo-pagan third cross-quarter holiday, commonly known as Lughnasadh or Lammas, is based upon historical Gaelic festivities of similar name.  In the past, the holiday of Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season and included several activities that strengthened community identity, such as ritual meals which followed sacrifices.  Athletic competitions and mock battles were also common at this time of year.

For modern pagans the observance of the third cross-quarter can vary greatly depending upon background and location.  Many choose to honor the harvest aspect of the holiday by baking bread and other treats, while some organizations host games in the spirit of the historical Lughnasadh activities.

In the Slavic tradition, Perun's Day typically falls between July 20th and August 2 (depending on the calendar tradition) and is the holiday closest in date to the third cross-quarter.  This holiday was morphed into festivities for St. Elijah.  Based on what few descriptions of activities survive, modern Slavic neo-pagans (especially men) typically observe this day by making special sacrifices to Perun, engaging in athletic competitions and renewing their oaths to the community.

No comments:

Post a Comment