New Lammas Window
We change our window display as the Wheel of the Year rolls forward. The next seasonal festival is: Lammas or Lughnasadh (1st August)
Lammas or Lughnasadh is one of the four cross quarter days celebrated by witches.
This ancient festival marks the point half way between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox.
It celebrates the first grain harvest and is named after the Celtic God Lugh.
The Anglo-Saxon name of this festival is Hlafmesse meaning “loaf-mass”.
On Lammas day in 1940 witches gathered in the New Forest to raise a “cone of power” to prevent Hitler’s troops invading England. The assembly included Gerald Gardner and Old Dorothy Clutterbuck and several other renowned witches.
Traditionally Lammas is celebrated by taking a spiral path to the summit of a Lammas hill such as Silbury Hill or Glastonbury Tor.
For Lammas, the stag’s antlers (in the main window display) have been decorated with straw art and corn dollies made for the Museum by Gillian Nott.
We cannot thank Gillian enough for this wonderful window display which is a complete joy to look at!
Straw or corn art was made around the time of the harvest perhaps as a way of saying thank-you for the crops.
When harvesting, farmers will often leave the last stand of corn as it contains the spirit of the crop. In some parts of the country this will be cut by ritually throwing sickles. The corn would then be used to decorate the farmhouse for “Harvest Home”, and be made into a corn dolly to protect the home and guarantee the crops for the next season.