First Fruits celebration

by | Feb 6, 2013 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

 First Fruits is a special celebration, for it’s about appreciating the first produce of the season. Also known as Lugnasad by the Celts, or Lammas in the Christian tradition, it lies half-way between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.

A Maori saying for this season goes: ‘Fruits have now set and people eat the first fruits of the year.’ For Maori, berries were gathered: matai, hinau, tawa, kawakawa, and karaka (which needed extensive treatment to remove the poisons in these lush berries).

I gathered up the season’s plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, apricots and cherry tomatoes for our altar, feeling great thankfulness for the mellowness of summer. My own harvest has been brought in and is being processed in Hong Kong, and I can take a pause and enjoy the richness of the season,

  and to bring a little piece of magic into our circle (thanks to Anissa who introduced me to magic flowers; see
First everyone was given a paper flower to colour with crayons. As they coloured, I asked them to contemplate their hopes for the coming year.

 Then we all folded the petals into the centre,

 before dropping them into a platter of warm water and watching the magic


of our hopes before our eyes.
May your hopes also flower, whatever season you are in.
Happy Lammas/Lugnasad/First Fruits!


  1. Diana Drent

    Every season has his own richness.

    The fruit looks delicious, I love kiwi, escpecially the yellow one.

    Happy Lammas/Lugnasad to you to and that your hopes also flower and that your dreams may come true!

  2. RuthG

    I love the magic of the flowers and appreciate your sharing that idea.

  3. juliet

    * Diana, the fruit are delicious. It’s marvellous to have so much choice. Thank you for your good wishes.

    * Ruth, glad you enjoyed the magic, and hope you can have some of your own.

    Thank you Diana and Ruth.

  4. Anne Ruffell

    How lovely to wake this morning to these lush fruits and magic flowers as today is my birthday! Happy Lammas to you!

  5. juliet

    *Anne, what a pleasure to receive your comment. I am about to sign off! For you, it will be Brigid, Candlemas, or First Light. You will be feeling the light returning now – hopefully!
    Thank you.

  6. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – the harvest of life – fruits and the fruit of information – a new book ..

    I loved seeing the little flowers what a wonderful idea … such fun ..

    and you remind me about Celtic legends .. an area I know little about … So looking forward to reading your book … Cheers Hilary

  7. Friko

    I had heard of Lammas but knew nothing else about it. Naturally, I looked it up: it’s celebrated on August ist in the UK. It’s the first harvest festival of the year and gives thanks for the wheat harvest, i.e. loaf-mass.

    Looking up its German equivalent I found that there isn’t one. The German dictionary says it’s an English festival in honour of the liberation of Saint Peter in the catholic church.

    Well I never, the things you pick up on a blog trip.

    It had also never occurred to me that some festivals are celebrated at the ‘wrong’ time of year in the Antipodes, like ‘Lammas’ in February.

    Those fruits are glorious. I will have to wait a long time for something halfway as perfect as yours. Mine will come from the supermarket, not my garden.

  8. juliet

    * Hilary, the flowers were a great success. The Celtic seasonal festivals form a basis for what we do here. Each of them was later taken over by Christianity, so they’ve had a long life.

    * Friko, how interesting that Germany doesn’t have an equivalent to Lammas. If you look up Lugnasad, which is the old Celtic festival held at this time, you might find something. My first book, ‘Celebrating the Southern Seasons’ brought together the Celtic, Christian and Maori festivals and aligned them with the southern hemisphere year (which is of course the opposite to you in the north).

    Thanks for visiting, Hilary and Friko.

  9. Hotly Spiced

    Your fruit in that fruit bowl looks so inviting. What a great selection of ‘first fruits’. I’ve only known of the definition of ‘first fruits’ in the Bible. I had no idea first fruits was used in other ways xx

  10. juliet

    * Hi Charlie, yes First Fruits refers to all produce. At Lammas, which means ‘loaf-feast/mass’ bread was baked from the first grain harvested.
    I’ve been eating from the fruit bowl and they are all delicious.
    Thanks for visiting.

  11. cecilia

    These unfolding flowers are just wonderful.. i will try this with my homeschooled visitors. We milked the cow, gathered eggs and then came in and made baked custard this morning, such a treat having kids around.. have a lovely day juliet.. c

  12. Penny O'Neill

    Happy Lammas/Lugnasad to you as well, Juliet. Your fruit looks so fresh my mouth is watering.

    What a fun activity to try. I have it bookmarked for a little someone come our summertime. Thank you.

  13. Lynley

    We are slurping on juicy fruits too Juliet.

    We have so much to choose from at the moment. We are indeed fortunate.

  14. juliet

    * Celi, your little bunch of borrowed pupils would enjoy this. Main thing is to have warm water. Cold water takes much longer for the flowers to open, but warm water is instant.

    * Penny, I know a little person who will love this! See my comment above about using warm water.

    * Lynley, the fruits are such a treat at present.

    Thank you Celi, Penny and Lynley for visiting.


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