Day of Lammas, a Forgotten Crossquarter Day


I was wondering why I didn’t want to get in the pool yesterday…

August 1st each year marks a traditional ‘cross-quarter day’ known as the Day of Lammas. It is when the first loaves are baked from the first wheat harvest, and marks the beginning of the harvest season. I don’t grow wheat, but I have enjoyed several peppers and zucchini from my garden already, and we are  preparing for a busy canning season in the near future.

Cross-quarter days are the midpoint days between a solstice and an equinox. It is on these days that we begin to sense or anticipate a changing in the seasons. For the Day of Lammas, we start to plan for the new school year, hurry to get that last camping trip in, or prepare for the fall sports season (can’t say much about the NBA, but the NFL is back on…)

For most people, the mindset of fall begins long before September 22nd, the date of the autumnal equinox. We expect the temperatures to cool down a bit and the Sun sets a little earlier now.

The actual midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox for 2011 is Sunday, August 7th, but the Day of Lammas is recognized on August 1st each year. Other cross-quarter dates are Groundhog Day, May Day, and Halloween.

There’s still plenty of summer left! Maybe I’ll get in the pool this evening…

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