Named after Irish God, Lugh, Lúnasa is one of the most important days in the Celtic Calendar usually signifying abundance at the time of harvest.

As one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, Lughnasadh heralds the commencement of autumn followed by Samhain and winter, Imbolg and spring then Bealtaine and summer.

The arrival of the harvest was for our forebears a time of great celebration, for it marked the point at which the lean months of June and 'Hungry July' (when the year's stores were traditionally at their lowest), gave way to a period of profusion and plenty.

Harvesting in Ireland in 1963 from the RTÉ Archives

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences


Lugh, a Sun God is where the festival got its name and historically signified a time for celebration based on what was harvested from the land.

In this edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments, Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan take to the fields to consider the harvest in tradition, discussing hilltop celebrations, naked horse-swimming races and the spirit of the crops itself, which appears all over Europe, in the form of a female nature spirit known broadly as the 'Corn Mother', as well as being symbolically represented by several animals.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences