Definition of Lammas in US English:


(also Lammas Day)


  • The first day of August, formerly observed in Britain as a harvest festival, during which bread baked from the first crop of wheat was blessed.

    • ‘The Conference, now considered by many to be a Glastonbury institution, is always held to coincide with Lammas, formerly observed as a harvest festival.’
    • ‘In 1613 Jenkin Conway was granted a patent to hold a fair in Killorglin on every Lammas Day and two days after.’
    • ‘Kieron asked his mother to buy him a bongo after seeing them played at the Lammas harvest gathering at the Avebury stone circles last August.’
    • ‘Tara was surprised when Scott gladly accompanied her to a Lammas gathering in August.’
    • ‘Celts held the festival of the Irish god Lugh at this time and later, the Anglo-Saxons marked the festival of hlaefmass, loaf mass or Lammas at this time.’
    • ‘The verdant smell of the leaves and wild grasses at Lammas unified my own life-force with the fecundity of the land.’
    • ‘Since Lammas, the days have grown noticeably shorter, and night has fallen earlier with every passing day.’
    • ‘August 1 is Lammas, which is a celebration of the first harvest, particularly of grain products.’
    • ‘These might take place on May Day, or Lammas or Hallowe'en on a traditional hill-site - often marked by an ancient and venerated tree on the summit.’
    • ‘And once we had a true feast in the little mill house, finer by far than I had ever had at the Priory, even at Lammas when the first harvest was brought in late Summer.’


Old English hlāfmæsse (see loaf, Mass), later interpreted as if it were from lamb + Mass.