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Published on Jun 24, 2011
Lammas is an ancient festival celebrating the first harvest and the reaping of grain which takes place around August 1.
The wheat had run low before Lammas, and this new harvest of wheat and other crops and fruits began a season of plenty, thus there was a spirit of celebration and thanksgiving..
The Wickerman film at Summersisle famously presents a certain view of this pagan festival. Sir James Frazer (incorrectly according to Ronald Hutton) cites John Barleycorn In The Golden Bough as proof of a Pagan cult in England that worshiped a god of vegetation, sacrificed to bring fertility to the fields. Some see in this tradition echoes of human sacrifice as portrayed in The Wickerman film (1973), but that is not really what this time is about. Whilst there was a Celtic ritual of dressing the last sheaf of corn to be harvested in fine clothes, or weaving it into a wicker-like man or woman, it was believed that the Sun 's spirit was trapped in the grain and needed to be set free by fire, so the effigy was burned. This tradition is thought by many to have been the origin of the misconception that Druids made human sacrifices, along with Julius Caesar's politically motivated accounts. More details at my Blog The Dance Of Life here ( http://bit.ly/H8HOOA )