01 August 2012

Lammas Day

In older kalendars August 1st is kept as the feast of St. Peter's Chains, celebrating the dedication of the basilica of St. Peter ad Vincula in Rome, which was built in about 432 on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and consecrated on August 1, and which contains the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, joined to the chains which bound him during his imprisonment in Rome.

Sometime around the 9th century in England this date was also kept as Lammas Day, from the Saxon Hlaf-masse, or Loaf-mass. Bread made from the first harvest of wheat would be brought to the Church to be blessed, asking God for a good harvest and for enough to supply people's needs throughout the winter until the next harvest.

The Harvest, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder