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Event to celebrate first harvest festival

by Rob Daniel

Lammasfest came about because their feet were cold, Kate Cheyney of North Liberty said. A follower of American Indian and “non-desert religions” outside of the mainstream, Cheyney said, her son Kirk and six others wanted to find a festival that occurred during a warmer time of the year than early October. They found out about Lammas, the celebration of the first harvest in early August, and six years later, the family is organizing the sixth annual Lammasfest Friday through Sunday at the Coralville Lake Reservoir. “It started out as a joke,” said Kate Cheyney, who said she has been a solitary practioner of her faith for the last 30 years but is associated with the Iowa Lammas Group. “It’s a harvest festival. It’s Iowa. It’s a corn festival.”

According to the group’s Web site, Lammas dates back to the ancient Celtic celebration of Lughnasdh, in which ancients assembled to mourn the death of the corn god or the death of summer. It later became known as the celebration of First Harvest after the Romans introduced Christianity to Britain and renamed “Loaf-Mass,” the Web site said.

Read the original article at: Press Citizen

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