hidden europe 10

Harvest festivals

by hidden europe


We sample a few of Europe's late summer harvest festivals.

If midsummer is reserved for hard rock (see article above), then the later part of the summer season sees a quite different kind of festival beginning to appear in the calendar across rural Europe. In the Celtic sphere, August takes its cue from the ancient feast of Lughnasadh, a time when the sun began to dip in the skies marking the start of another season's harvest. The annual Lammas Fair at Ballycastle on Ireland's north coast also recalls an ancient harvest tradition. While this fair is nowadays a mainly secular occasion, across many parts of Europe August harvest festivals still have a religious dimension.

In some communities in western Europe, the Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary (15 August) is a moment for giving thanks for the abundance of the fields.