Today I weeded, watered, and harvested my mini-garden. It’s getting close to time that I’m going to need to start repotting some of my plants and either taking them with me or finding them new homes. My basil had bolted, so I had a lot of flowers to cut off of it in order to encourage more leaf growth. Basil certainly likes to flower. If I leave it alone for a few days it’s gets far too excitable to start reproducing :). The mint in the far corner also started flowering like mad. It’s strange: there were flies perched all over the flowers. I cut the flowers off, so hopefully that will take care of that problem. I also trimmed some of my chives and used them to make tasty pasta for dinner. Yummy! The final discovery for today was that my fennel had finally seeded. I’d let my fennel flower and go to seed and today I noticed that the seeds are finally ready to take off the plant. Yay! So now I have seeds for cooking, gifting, and planting next year :).
In the neo-pagan high days this feast is often designated as Lughnasadh. August 1st is said to mark the beginning of the harvest season, the first ripening of fruits ready for the picking. Traditions of Lughnasadh:
- make a cornmeal bread or cakes in the shape of Lugh and then symbolically sacrifice and eat them.
- funeral games for Lugh’s foster mother Tailtiu (games of skill and strength)
- Tailtiu predicted as long as the games were still happening, Ireland wouldn’t be without song (cite)
- Games were much like the Olympics
The beginning of the harvest season can be seen as birth, fruition, and renewal. While researching in an attempt to link the autumn feast to Hellenic traditions, the closest major festival is Panathenaea. This festival celebrates the birth of Athena Polias, the Guardian of the City. Traditions of Panathenaea (cite):
- Panathenaea Games (athletic & bardic arts contests)
- Peplos sacrifice and renewal (cite)
- honoring of craftsmanship & protection of the city
- Great Panathenaea every four years (much like the Olympics)
- the feast of bounty
I also could see the Autumn Feast relating to Demeter and Kore, as it is the first of the harvest festivals.
Another festival is Kronia: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/kronia