Tonight I am celebrating a Lammas Moot with Medway Pagans, and it’s got me thinking – is it best to call it Lammas or Lughnasadh?
I’ve been looking this up briefly online, and it doesn’t seem to really matter which one you use. It would appear that Celtic Pagans and Wiccans show a slight preference for Lughnasadh, but not necessarily.
Personally, I prefer Lammas. Lughnasadh originally refers to the Celtic God Lugh, and while I think it is good to remember this deity on this festival, as an Eclectic Pagan, I want to celebrate other aspects as well – the beginning of the Harvest, thankfulness for bread and other produce, and bidding the Summer sun farewell. So terming the festival “Lammas” broadens the focus away from Lugh.
Additionally, the word “Lammas” seems fairly familiar to non-Pagan people in Britain. If I were to say I was celebrating Lughnasadh to non-Pagans, I would probably get some blank stares. But mention Lammas, and this seems to stir some vague recognition in people, even if they’re not sure exactly what Lammas is.
But my number one reason for calling it “Lammas?” It’s just easier to remember the spelling and pronunciation!
(Although “Lughnasadh” does sound rather pretty. The way I’ve head it pronounced is something like “Lunar-sar,” which is quite evocative of the moon!)