What do we have to celebrate in August? I believe that each month has something to celebrate about it, is this because I love celebrating? Or because the days, weeks, months and years are flying by quicker than ever and I want to slow down and enjoy and appreciate the present?
Either way, when I thought of August I released that I had a difficult time thinking of what I could celebrate so I turned to internet research and this is what I found:
In the Neo-Pagan wheel of the year August begins at or near Lughnasadh in the northern hemisphere and Imbolc in the southern hemisphere. Lughnasadh is an old Irish word with a modern Irish and modern Gaelic translation. This is a Gaelic holiday traditionally associated with the first of August celebrating the first harvest and the reaping of grain.
Here in Scotland (with a Gaelic history and tradition) we have our August bank holiday on the first Monday of the month (albeit a lot less taken, we wait for the last Monday of the month which the rest of the UK celebrates) and so for the first time, I wondered if the two were correlated?
It is also one of Scotland’s Quarter Days, one of the four dates in each year on which servants were hired, and rents were due. I take it people could now pay their rent (or not) as the harvest was now in. It is called a quarter day because it is halfway between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon).
In some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere, August 1 is Lammas Day (loaf-mass day), the festival of the wheat harvest, and 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. In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August, although their rent wasn’t due as their quarter days are different to those in Scotland.
And then Christianity arrives and Lammas day becomes "the feast of first fruits" and it is referred to regularly in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The blessing of new fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August. Is this why I noticed much more fruit in our supermarket on Sunday? Usually the ‘offers’ are on the vegetables or the salad, but no, this week all of the ‘offers’ were on fruit. Lots of fresh, colourful, traditional and exotic fruit. It may well be coincidence or I am looking for evidence.
Today August is celebrated in Edinburgh with The Edinburgh Festival. This is an internationally famous arts festival. And across the globe August is celebrated by:
National Immunization Awareness Month
National Psoriasis Awareness Month
In many European countries, August is the holiday month for most workers
The Philippines celebrates August as the Buwan ng Wika ("Language Month")
In the United States, August is National Back to School month. Some US School districts and systems return to school in August.
So what is it for you? What is your celebration?
Is your first harvest in? Are you reaping the rewards of your sowing and tendering the seeds you have sown for your goals and dreams this year? Are you starting to see the light at the end of your tunnel? You are fitter, healthier, richer, wiser and happier than you were just a few short months ago?
Are you celebrating that we are no longer tied to Quarter Days? We can pay our rent when we choose. We can create our employment when we choose. We have a much higher standard of liberty and freedom.
Are you celebrating summer with an abundance of fruit? All of those fabulous vitamins and nutrients keeping us healthy and strong to keep our bodies in good working order?
Are you celebrating your health in general? That we can give of ourselves to others who are not as healthy as us?
Or are you celebrating your summer holiday? Is it finally time to rest, relax and restore?
Whatever August is for you, I hope you celebrate, and I wish you and yours the very best.