1st August

Lammas marks the beginning of the early harvest - cereals, barley, wheat and oats. It was often celebrated with bonfires, once lit on hills and beacons all over Europe. This is also the festival of the Celtic God of the Sun Lugh, whose sacrifice in the harvest at Lughnasadh is made so that people may live.

Excavations at Silbury Hill, shown in the illustration, the largest manmade earthwork in England suggest that its construction began in August; carbon dated to approx. 2660 BCE. Perhaps it was built to celebrate Lammas. The name Silbury Hill is derived from the ancient water Goddess Sul, whose spirit is said to dwell in the hill's surrounding moat. The shape of the Hill is like a pregnant belly, suggesting strong associations with the Goddess, fertility and fruitfulness.