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Summer Harvest Festival 2017

Sunday 27th August 2017
10.30am – 4.30pm

Try ancient ploughing, sow seeds, learn about prehistoric farming, make herb garlands and bake your own harvest rolls in our Iron Age clay ovens. Activities also include making floral crowns, threshing and grinding grain and trying out ancient-style hand ploughs.


Our Summer Harvest Festival is based on the Celtic traditional festival of Lughnasa which would customarily be celebrated in early August.  However, in Scotland it was unlikely that the grain would be ready on 1st August, which date is linked to the ancient Celtic tablet found at Coligny in France, and therefore the exact dates may have varied.  'Lughnasa' has many possible originals but it is most often associated with the Sun-God Lugh.

Lughnasa also marks the period when the grains are ripened but not yet harvested.  Throughout the Celtic world, the ripening of the grain was cause for immense celebration.  The reaping, threshing and preparation of breads formed great ritual and ceremony to ensure bounty for the following year.  Today modern celebrations include fetes and country fairs, singing, dancing and feasting in community gatherings.

Accordingly our last artefact for this month is a 2,500 year old foot plough discovered under the house floor during the underwater excavations of Oakbank Crannog in Loch Tay, along with grains of barley, spelt and emmer wheat.  The digging end of the plough may have originally been covered with an iron point or it may have been a ceremonial deposit: there are at least two other Crannogs in Scotland where a similar type of object was discovered under the floor timbers.  Too many for a coincidence?

All day time events include museum exhibits, talks around a log-fire in the Crannog roundhouse, demonstrations and hands-on exerience of ancient crafts and technologies.   

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