Sunday, 11 August 2013

Old Lammas Eve..11th Aug

This is supposedly the last of the hot and unhealthy 'Dog Days' which 
begin on the 3rd July
This is an uncanny time, full of spirits haunting the roads and habitations 
of mortals. Crosses of rowan, surefire protection against evil spirits, were fastened 
above doors and windows for Lammas Eve, the latest it must be put up is noon
 Lammas Day. It is supposed to be by done in silence and secretly otherwise 
the charm and effectiveness of it is broken.
Cattle were similarly adorned with rowan tied on with red and blue threads 
around their tails.

12th Aug Old Lammas Day
Traditionally the season for trial or 'handfast' marriage in Scotland.
'At the Lammas Fair, it was the custom for unmarried persons of both sexes 
to choose a companion, according to their liking, with whom they were to live
 till that time next year. This was called hand-fasting or hand- in - fist. If they were 
pleased with each other, then they continued together for life: if not, they separated,
 and were free to make another choice.'

Old Statistical Account 1794 Parish of Eskdalemuir

 In some countries August 1 is Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide. The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo Saxon England it might be employed afterwards to work magic, a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain. In many parts ofEngland tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August.

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