The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Welcome Cornelia Amiri talking romantic mystical Celtic folklore

Celebrate Lughnassadh with Cornelia Amiri’s Druid Bride

Lughnassadh, pronounced LOO-nahs-ah, is the Celtic Harvest festival, celebrated July 31 or August st but it’s also a great time for romance. For one, it was named after the sun god Lugh, a tall, muscular warrior with sky blue eyes and a hallo of golden light which blazed around his thick flaxen hair. He was also known as Lugh of the long arm because of his magic spear, which never missed its mark. That brings quite an image to mind, doesn’t it. The earth goddess (Tailtiu in Ireland and Blodeuwedd in Wales) was an important part of Lughnassadh as it celebrates the marriage of the earth to the sky, so hand fasting marriages were celebrated at this time. Also as fruit gathering was part of Lughnassadh, young men and women paired off to pick sweet, ripe bilberries and didn’t return until nightfall.

Here’s an excerpt of that from my latest release, Druid Bride:
Lughnasa, one of her favorite festivals. She and Brude would pick bilberries together and stay out until dark. He would thread the dark berries they plucked together into a bracelet for her to wear that day. At least, he should. She imagined his lips on hers, pressing down, hot and wet, kissing her beneath the light of the white moon, his mouth and breath tasting of sweet, juicy bilberries. .

Of my nine Celtic/Romances, many have Lughnassadh excerpts. Here’s another from Druid Bride:
Tribesman blew bronze horns and blared their pipes as Tanwen moved toward a large, spoked wagon wheel coated with black, gooey tar. From the hill, she gazed down at the fertile fields below.
Brude, the chieftains, and the crowd joined her as she chanted, “The sun burns, yet winter nears. The season turns. Summer comes to an end. Sun and earth, Lugh and Macha. Life to death, the wheel turns, Lughnasa, Lughnasa.”
Brude handed her a firebrand, and she lit the wheel aflame.My life has turned in a new direction like a wheel on a wagon, rolling from one street to go down another. Will my life with Brude be as passionate as the fiery wheel? Her mind filled with the memory of wild, blinding pleasure and of his firm, muscular body taking her over the crest until she’d screamed in ecstasy. With an iron rod, she rolled the fiery wheel down the hill. “The end of Lugh’s reign, god of the sun.” She gasped air as she ran with the rolling symbol of the sun. She glanced at Brude, who kept pace with her on the other side of the burning wheel, garbed in a red tunic interwoven with gold and draped with a plaid bratt of blue, green, purple, gray, white, and black. Tanwen’s gaze fell to his eyes, which smoldered with heat and enflamed her with desire. Smoke rose, as flames ate the wood. The flaming wheel reached its end and crumbled into pieces of burning wood. The crowd stopped in their tracks and encircled the dying Lugh. She spread her arms into the air and focused on the gods.
“The sun begins its journey into dark winter. The season turns, sun and earth, Lugh and Macha, life to death. Winter nears, Lughnasa, Lughnasa.”
I’m part of the turning season. Soon I’ll transform from maiden to wife, and then to mother.
With the fire nothing more than smoldering embers, the wheel no more than ashes, and with Brude at her side, she led the crowd back up the hill.

That’s the last excerpt for today but you can drop by my website anytime at and you can also find me on twitter and facebook

Thank you so much for being here today, Cornelia! I have never read any romance set in the wonderful world of Celtic folklore but I have LOADS of friends who devour them. You make everything sound so wonderfully romantic and scenic. Mmm, now, back to the Eternal Press website for a little shopping me thinks!

Comments please!


  1. I'm so glad to be here today. Please post questions and comments and I will reply through out the day. Surely you have questions about Lughnassahd. If you've never heard of it before let me know and tell me what you think about it. Ask any questions that come to mine. Do you celebrate Lughnassahd? Share some or your favorite memories of the festival or how you plan to celebrate it this year. Post any questions or comments. Feel free. I will reply.

  2. Loved the excerpt. Good luck with your book. I have a feeling it will fly from the shelves.

  3. Traditions and rituals, and their stories about them, change and swap from countries to region. I love to read their variations.

    Much of the symbolism written here we would relate to in May at Beltaine here on the Co. Sligo/Co. Roscommon border.

    For us Lughnasa, in its various spellings, is perhaps the most celebrated of the four fire festivals here. For us it is close to the stories of Lugh or Lugad, as he tends to be spelled here. We have the first harvest offered to the crows of the Morrigu on top of Céis Coarran mountain, the sports tradition, a special reverence to the trees that are at their most abundant and about to bear fruit, and of course the ceili.

    Now wherever there is a ceili there is still a wee chance of some romance, especially if the local matchmaker is around :-)

    John xxx

  4. Hi Margaret,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate that so much.

  5. Dear John,

    Thank you so much for posting. How interesting. I would love to be there when the first harvest is offered to the crows of the Morrigu on top of Céis Coarran mountain. Have fun dancing at the ceili.I am so glad you posted that wonderful information, thank you so much.

  6. Interesting post. I use some of the Celtic festivals in my novel, Ring of Stone, which I'm still revising.

  7. Thanks for posting Diane. Ring of Stone sounds wonderful, like something I'd like to read.

  8. Adding to what John said, the name Lughnasa is also the Irish name for the month of August, as Bealtaine is the name for the month of May, and Sambhain is the name for the month of November.

    On one ancient calendar there is just Summer and Winter. Winter goes from August to Janaury, and Summer from February to July. 1 August is the traditional celebration date in Ireland, now called a bank holiday, but was originally the Lughnasa festival time. On that calendar, Imbolc (1 February) would be the start of Summer time.

    On the four quarter calendar which we use today, 1 February is the first day of Spring as Imbolc; 1 May is the first day of Summer as Bealtaine; 1 August is the first day of Autumn as Lughnasa; and 1 November is the first day of Winter as Samhain.

    Without getting into a long history of it, many of the ancient pre-Christian festivals were linked with Christian ones and with their saints in order to convert people to Christianity. Today, Imbloc is celebrated as St Brigit's Day, and also as Groundhog Day! May Day stems from the old Bealtaine festival. Samhain of course is linked with Halloween and All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day. Christmas Day was originally the feast day of the Sun God.

  9. Congrats on your release, Cornelia. The cover is beautiful. Trying to feel the positive vibes for August. I get older in August and its so HOT! LOL!