It occurred to me, since I live in the U.S., to wonder what traditions occur in Ireland, if any, in conjunction with our big holidays. This week is our Thanksgiving which is a big holiday in the U.S., then we follow that with the notorious day known as Black Friday. Even though, this too is a primarily American holiday, many companies worldwide acknowledge it because it is the biggest shopping day of the year. This is especially true for online companies.
The question remained, “did the people of Ireland celebrate Thanksgiving or anything similar while we are having our festivities in the U.S.?” The answer is no they do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland. However, there are ex-pats who live abroad and now call Ireland home who still pine for the nostalgia that this U.S. holiday brings. Although, most in Ireland will go about this Thursday like any other day, this brings to mind all of the holidays or harvests that do occur in Ireland.
A beautiful emblem that will add the right detail to any outfit for a holiday or celebration in November is this new November Birthstone pendant. This necklace is made of sterling silver and has a lovely four part design with diamonds that sparkle on the endings. In the center, is the November birthstone in the shape of a heart.
Starting in August, the Irish have the feast of Lammas. Lammas celebrates the wheat harvest in late summer. Celebrants would bring a loaf to a church and have it blessed. Then the loaf would be broken into four pieces and placed in opposite corners of the barn or wherever the grain was stored in order to protect the harvest from harm.
This harvest is in fact a very religious time and sounds much like an American Thanksgiving. Lammas spotlights a transition from summer to autumn. The people have historically used this time to reflect and give thanks to God for the abundance for which they have received, The metaphor is to compare God to the harvest and the thanks comes from the belief that he has died in order to give the abundance of food and sustenance to his people. It is seen as a very Godly sacrifice which is why so much goes into blessing and protecting their crops.
Lammas occurs at a different time of the year, but the premise is still the same as Thanksgiving in many ways. Harvest encourages people to cook and share what it is that they have cultivated with those near and dear to them. Lastly, Lammas emphasizes giving thanks for and taking the time to reflect on your blessings.