Continuing our series, Spiritual Connections Around the World, we now move into Midsummer — the halfway point between Summer and Fall. As summer begins to ripen, the harvest and feasting are joyful centerpieces to celebrations during this seasonal turning point.
Spiritual Connections in Midsummer
The halfway point of summer is like a well-ripened piece of fruit. With the harvest now at its peak, the fruits of the earth are coming of age and hanging heavy with abundance. Grain, the staple sustenance of life, is the symbol of this season and represented in the celebrations at this time of year both new and old.
- Second Planting is celebrated today just as it was in ancient times beginning with harvesting the first grain, threshing and milling it, then baking the grain into bread or brewing it into beer to share in community. After a night of feasting and dancing, work starts again at first light, planting the second crop of summer wheat, which will mature by fall harvest
- Hlaf-Mas or Loaf Mass, the Saxton Feast of Bread, and Lugnasad, the Celtic celebration of the God of Grain, were celebrated in much the same way as today’s Second Planting
- Lammas, the Harvest Festival, was formerly observed in Britain as a harvest festival, during which bread baked from the first crop of wheat was offered and blessed
- First Fruits, a religious offering of the first agricultural produce of the harvest to priests and God, was a tradition honored widely in early August by classical Greek, Roman, Hebrew and Christian religions
Up Next: Fall, coming September 22nd
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