The Tudor Society

August Feast Days

1 August – Lammas or “Loaf Mass”

Saints John and Batholomew

Saints John and Batholomew

This was an ancient Celtic festival and marked the start of the wheat harvest. After the first crops were safely brought in, the first loaves baked with the wheat from this harvest in each household would be taken to church and blessed as a thanksgiving for the harvest. This would be followed by a celebratory feast.

An Anglo-Saxon tradition was for one loaf of blessed bread to be broken into pieces and scattered around the corners of the barn where the harvest would be stored to bring good luck. Another tradition was for a loaf from last year's Lammas to be saved and this stale load to be fed to the birds on the next Lammas Day.

1 August - The Feast of St Peter in Chains (St Peter ad Vincula)

This feast day commemorated the liberation of the Apostle Peter the night before his trial when an angel visited him in his prison, loosed his chains and helped him to escape.

15 August – Assumption of the Virgin or Assumption of Our Lady

This religious feast day commemorates the death of the Virgin Mary and her corporeal assumption into Heaven.

24 August – St Bartholomew's Day

24th August is the feast day of St Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles of Christ. Bartholomew was martyred by either being beheaded or being flayed alive and then crucified upside down. Another story has him being beaten unconscious before being thrown in the sea and drowned. He is often depicted in art holding a knife or his own skin, or both.

29 August – Beheading of St John the Baptist

This feast day commemorates the martyrdom of St John the Baptist who was beheaded on the orders of Herod Antipas after he had promised to give his step-daughter Salome anything she wanted for her birthday. Salome spoke with her mother and then asked for the head of the imprisoned John the Baptist.

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August Feast Days