The CELTIC Pentecost
In the ancient world late July and early August marked the middle of summer and the beginning of the wheat harvest season. Famine was common during July as the previous year's harvest supplies were almost totally depleted. Harvesting wheat in August ensured the continuance of life and was recognized by many cultures as a time of thanksgiving. This was the time of YEHOVAH's Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost -- 50 days after the seventh Sabbath complete, as revealed in Leviticus 23:16.
by HOIM Staff
A good question to ask is, "if the true Pentecost is in the fourth Hebrew month, around the last of July or the first of August, then why is there not a festival, pagan or otherwise, around this time like is the case with the other true feasts/chags of YEHOVAH God?" And we should also ask, "what is the counterfeit feast in the third month for the traditional third month Pentecost?" We know they celebrate Easter around Passover and Halloween around Tabernacles -- but what about Pentecost?
We can show that the ancient Celtic people observed the firstfruits of the wheat harvest in the SUMMERTIME around the last day of July or the first day of August -- which is in harmony with counting the 50 days after the seventh Sabbath complete -- instead of 50 days from the wave sheaf or after the first Sabbath. Can anyone show a counterfeit feast in the third month for the traditional third month Pentecost? Remember, the adversary has a counterfeit for all the true feasts/chags of YEHOVAH God, but we cannot think of one in the third month of Sivan.
The main thing we would like to emphasize in this article on the ancient Celtic people, is that they understood that the WHEAT HARVEST was NOT celebrated in the THIRD MONTH -- but in the FOURTH MONTH. These Celts obviously knew something about farming and what crops were grown when. All the paganism associated with these Celtic festivals does not change the facts of nature and that the WHEAT HARVEST was not in the THIRD MONTH, but the FOURTH HEBREW MONTH.
It would be like someone saying that we are having the firstfruits of the watermelon harvest in the springtime/THIRD MONTH and everyone knows, or should know, that watermelons are not harvested in the springtime but are harvested in the summertime! The same is true with grapes, the harvest of grapes is not in the springtime, but in the summertime, same as the original wheat harvest that is found in the Bible. This is why the apostles were being accused of drinking new wine on the day of Pentecost in the New Testament book of Acts.
It is time for someone to explain WHY the ancient Israelite people thought that the FIRSTFRUITS of the WHEAT harvest was in the SUMMER, some 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete, as Leviticus 23:16 teaches.
The historical facts show that the ancient Celtic people (whom we know to be ancient Israelites) observed FOUR MAJOR festivals each year, one of which was the FIRSTFRUITS of the WHEAT HARVEST. This they observed on July 31st or the first day of August, which is in harmony with numbering 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete (Leviticus 23:16), instead of 50 days after the wave sheaf.
Why didn’t someone tell these Israelite people -- who were farmers -- that the FIRSTFRUITS of the WHEAT HARVEST was in the THIRD month instead of the FOURTH month?!
YES, there was a wheat harvest in the FOURTH MONTH, and it is the biblical wheat harvest that is planted in the first month of Nisan and harvested in the fourth month of Tammuz. The Messiah said in John 4:35, “say not ye there are yet FOUR months then the harvest?” The winter wheat that is planted today, around September or October, takes SEVEN MONTHS to harvest and cannot be found in Scripture. Yes, the ancient Celtic People knew what they were talking about -- and that is why they observed Pentecost 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete.
The problem arises when people do not understand that there is no record of a wheat harvest in the THIRD MONTH found in Scripture. Not only is there ABSOLUTELY NO conclusive wheat harvest in the THIRD MONTH, but it is an ABSOLUTE FACT that there is NO THIRD MONTH FEAST of ANY KIND found in the Bible.
There are TWO types of wheat that are planted today: WINTER WHEAT, which is planted around September or October and harvested SEVEN MONTHS later, in the springtime -- about two weeks after the barley harvest; and SUMMER WHEAT which is planted in the month of Nisan/springtime, and harvested AFTER FOUR MONTHS. So the big question is -- WHICH wheat harvest was the Biblical Pentecost the Israelites observed?
It is obvious, from the historical facts, that the ancient Celtic people observed only one MAJOR FEAST for the Pentecost wheat harvest and that was on the first day of August, which would correspond with counting 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete as prescribed in Leviticus 23:16.
When we say there is NOT even a THIRD MONTH FEAST mentioned in Scripture, all someone has to do to prove us wrong is to give us chapter and verse to the contrary. We can, however, give chapter and verse of a FEAST/Chag recorded at the END of the FOURTH HEBREW MONTH, and can also prove from Scripture -- and nature itself -- that the WHEAT HARVEST found in Scripture, was in the summertime when the grapes were ripe, instead of in the springtime.
The prophet Joel prophesied -- in the second chapter of Joel -- that the holy spirit would be poured out in the last days and “the floors would be full of WHEAT and the WINE PRESSES would be FULL OF WINE”. This happened on the day of Pentecost. However, there’s a problem with this being in the THIRD MONTH because it is agriculturally IMPOSSIBLE to have any grapes or wine in the wine presses in the THIRD MONTH!
Although It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for this prophecy to be fulfilled in the THIRD MONTH, it is possible to have the NEW WINE in the presses at the END of the FOURTH MONTH (or, possibly, the beginning of the FIFTH MONTH) since history records that the ancient Celtic people celebrated the FIRSTFRUITS of the WHEAT HARVEST on the FIRST DAY OF AUGUST. But to reach this date you MUST count 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete as Leviticus 23:16 teaches, instead of 50 days after the wave sheaf, as tradition teaches.
Philo, who live at the time as the Messiah and the apostles, observed Pentecost 50 days AFTER the seventh seven complete instead of 50 days after the wave sheaf.
Someone should explain why the ancient Celtic people celebrated Pentecost on August first?
The Celtic Lammas
Some people today celebrate a day called "Lammas." The word Lammas refers to the new growth that appears on oak trees and other trees during the summertime, around the last of July or first of August and the word means “FIRSTFRUITS” or “LOAF MASS.” If you check this out on the Internet you will find that the ancient Celtic people held a feast on this same day -- and a lot of people are aware that the Celtic people are descended from the ancient Israelites.
During this feast the Celts would make LOAVES OF BREAD from the FIRSTFRUITS of the WHEAT HARVEST and place them on the altar. This was done at the end of the fourth Hebrew month, on July 31 or the first day of August in our Gregorian Calendar of today. This corresponds to numbering 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete, as Leviticus 23:16 instructs.
If the ancient Celtic people observed the firstfruits of the wheat harvest in the summertime around the last day of "July" or the first day of "August," this is in harmony with counting the 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete instead of 50 days from the wave sheaf, or after the FIRST Sabbath (which would be in the springtime of the third month). We have shown that there is no feast mentioned in the Bible in the third month. As a matter of fact there is no third month harvest found any where in scripture -- and we challenge anyone to find one. If there is no feast or harvest in the third month, then why try to get someone to keep a third month feast unless it is strictly a tradition of man?
The following was gleaned from web sites under "Lammus" or “LUGHNASADH” which means "loaf mass." Please try to remember that the people who are writing these articles are not trying to prove or disprove anything, they are simply showing what the ancient Celtic people did around the last of July and the first of August. As a matter of fact, it would be safe to say that these people never realized that this ancient Celtic festival could have been Pentecost because, in their minds, the Pentecost feast occurs in the third month during the springtime, instead of the fourth month during the summer.
But we will soon see that these ancient Celtic people were keeping an ancient custom or tradition of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest -- better known as Pentecost or firstfruits or the Feast of Weeks -- in the end of the 4th Hebrew month. You can rest assured that if this same Celtic ritual occurred near the beginning of the third month, which most everyone believes is Pentecost, instead of the end of the fourth month, they would have sworn it was Pentecost!
Notice what Wikipedia has to say about Lammas:
it might be employed afterwards to work magic: A book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain. In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called "the feast of first fruits". The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ)."
"In some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere, August 1 is Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide. The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England
Wikipedia goes on to say,
"In mediæval times the feast was sometimes known in England and Scotland as the "Gule of August", but the meaning of "gule" is unclear. Ronald Hutton suggests, following the 18th-century Welsh clergyman antiquary John Pettingall, that it is merely an Anglicisation of Gŵyl Awst, the Welsh name of the "feast of August"…A Welsh derivation would point to a pre-Christian origin for Lammas and a link to the Gaelic festival of Lughnasadh."
According to the University of Kansas Medical Center Diversity Calendar --
"Lammas and Lughnasadh: Two ancient festivals with similar purposes are celebrated on August 1. Lammas is one of the four major pagan festivals originally celebrated in Britain and now celebrated in other countries, including the United States. During medieval times, loaves were baked from the first grains of the harvest and blessed in a church ceremony known as the "loaf mass". Many believe that "lammas" is a shortened form of "loaf mass". Others attribute "lammas" to a combined form of "lamb" and "Mass" which reflects a time when lambs were offered as a tribute to feudal lords.
"Lughnasadh (LOO-nah-sah) marks the beginning of the last quarter of the Celtic year. The festival is associated with the Irish god Lugh, or Samildanach, which means "he of many gifts". Lugh held funeral games in honor of his foster-mother Tailtiu, the goddess of agriculture who died while clearing the Irish forests in preparation for planting.
"Both festivals celebrate the first fruits of the harvest with games and contests and a magnificent feast. In this sense, the celebrations are similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday and the Jewish Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot."
Late July and Early August mark the middle of summer and the beginning of the harvest season. Famine was common during July as the previous years harvest supplies were almost totally depleted. Harvesting grains in August ensured the continuance of life and was recognized by many cultures as a time of thanksgiving.
In the 1943 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica we find recorded, under the heading Lammas, the following:
"Lammas, the festival of the WHEAT HARVEST, originally celebrated in England on Aug. 1, O.S. (O. Eng. hlafmaesse, from hlaf, loaf, and maesse, mass, "loaf-mass"). It was one of the old quarter-days, being equivalent to MIDSUMMER, the others being Martinmas, equivalent to Michaelmas, Candlemas (Christmas) and Whitsuntide (Easter). The name is derived from the custom of each worshipper presenting in the church A LOAF MADE OF THE NEW WHEAT, as an offering of the first-fruits."
The Celtic Lughnasadh
Notice what Kathleen Dupree writes under the heading, LUGHNASADH --
“The grain is ripe for harvest. Apple trees and gardens bear forth the fruits of summer. This is the time of Lughnasadh, the ancient Celtic festival held in celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.
"The modern Irish spelling, Lúnasa, is the name of the month of August in Irish Gaelic. Lughnasadh, an older spelling, is often used to designate the name of the seasonal festival that surrounds the first day of the month of August. In Scots Gaelic the day is known as Lunasda or Lunasdal. This is the time that marks a REST FROM LABOR, a time to take stock of what the SUMMER sun has yielded. It is a time to CELEBRATE and enjoy the outcome of our daily toil.
"At this GATHERING were held games and contests of skill as well as a GREAT FEAST made up of the FIRST FRUITS of the SUMMER HARVEST.” http://www.leyline.org/cra/articles/lughnasadh.html
"Lughnasadh was one of the FOUR MAIN medieval Irish customs: Imbolc at the beginning of February, Beltane on the first of May, “Lughnasadh” in August and Samhain in October. The early Celtic calendar was based on the lunar, solar and vegetative cycles, so the actual calendar date was variable. Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season, the ripening of first fruits, and was traditionally a time of community gatherings, market festivals, horse races and reunions with distant family and friends.”
Notice that the first festival mentioned here is in February which corresponds, according to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, with the 12th Jewish month. The only festival he lists in the 12th month is the feast of Esther on the 13th, and Purim on the 14th and 15th of the 12th month, but clearly this cannot be Pentecost that they were celebrating.
The next MAJOR FEAST that was mentioned was celebrated on the first of May, which corresponds with PASSOVER which can fall on the first of May. The next major feast mentioned is Lughnasadh in August -- which corresponds with PENTECOST if you number 50 DAYS AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete according to Leviticus 23:16. There is no possible way that this feast of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest can correspond to 50 days after the wave sheaf.
You will also notice that the next MAJOR FEAST is in OCTOBER -- which corresponds to the Feast of TABERNACLES. The point that we should realize here is that PENTECOST is a major feast just like Tabernacles, Passover, and Purim -- and we know that the ancient Israelites celebrated Pentecost. One key thing to remember is that there are two types of wheat grown today but the Bible only mentions ONE -- which was the Pentecost wheat that is planted in the spring/first month of Nisan and harvested in the summertime/the end of the fourth month. This was not harvested in the springtime.
The ancient Israelites were keeping the festivals of YEHOVAH God according to the great lights of Genesis 1:14 and according to the harvest seasons -- spring harvest, summer harvest, and fall harvest -- and the Bible and historical facts show that there was NEVER a celebration in the third month, nor was there a harvest in the third month.
When we make statements like “there is NOT even a third month harvest of any kind mentioned in Scripture”; “there is NOT a third month feast of any kind mentioned in Scripture for a third month Pentecost”; “there is NO conclusive winter wheat, which is harvested in the springtime mentioned in Scripture”; “the only provable springtime harvest mentioned in Scripture is the barley harvest" -- SOMEONE should be able to go to a scripture and prove us wrong. Is that asking too much? The summer harvest is the wheat harvest and the fall harvest is from the trees etc.
The scriptural Feast of Tabernacles can fall in October, and the scriptural Passover can fall in May, and the scriptural Pentecost can fall in August -- but the traditional Pentecost can never ever fall in August. It is very embarrassing to the traditional third month Pentecost not to be able to find any place in the Bible -- or conclusive historical evidence -- of ancient Israel keeping a third month Pentecost. The historians Josephus and Philo did not promote a 50 days after the wave-sheaf Pentecost as some suggest.
Ancient Israel’s calendar was luni-solar -- unlike the solar Gregorian calendar which is used today.
Continuing on, Lughnasadh (pronounced lune-ah-sah) was a summer festival of the ancient Celts, celebrated around August 1. It is known that it was celebrated at either the full moon or the new moon closest to the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. Tradition has set August 1 on our calendar as the day it was typically celebrated. Since the ancient Celtic day was from sundown to sundown, the celebration would usually begin the night before on July 31st.
Lughnasadh was a joyous time greatly anticipated as the first of three harvest festivals. Lughnasadh honors the god Lugh, and his foster-mother Taillte who died clearing the fields of Ireland for agriculture. In Old Irish Lunasa means “August.” The Celts celebrate this day from sunset of August 1 to sunset on August 2 as the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King whose light began to dwindle after the summer solstice. At this time oaths were taken and contracts were signed. Taillte marriages, lasting a year and a day, were common also.
The Wedding Symbology
It is thought by some linguists and epigraphers that the word "Lughnasadh" has a different meaning: The element "nasadh" relates to the Gaelic "to give in marriage," and thus would mean the "Marriage of Lug" rather than "Lugh's Mass" -- which is a common interpretation. There is also some debate as to who the BRIDE is. Some authorities favor Tailltiu (Lugh's foster-mother) and others favor Eriu, i.e., Ireland herself.
This is very interesting because in the Bible we read that Israel entered into a covenant relationship with YEHOVAH God, and agreed to be obedient to Him (Exodus 24:3, 7). This was followed by burnt offerings and peace offerings, and Moses and the elders were then enabled and permitted to "see God" and not be killed (vs. 10-11). This was a MARRIAGE covenant! Jeremiah the prophet records the words of YEHOVAH God: "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you" (Jeremiah 3:14).
Interestingly, then, Pentecost itself also pictures the MARRIAGE of the Bride and the Lamb of YEHOVAH God -- the Messiah! His Father, YEHOVAH God, married ancient Israel, in a physical covenant, called the Old Covenant. But Israel rebelled, and He divorced her (Jeremiah 3:8,9-11, 20).
At the second appearance of the Messiah, Yeshua will MARRY his new bride, the Church of YEHOVAH God consisting of those called out of physical Israel. He will inaugurate the NEW COVENANT, which is also a Marriage Covenant, only this is not a physical covenant alone with physical promises of health and wealth and prosperity; this is a spiritual covenant with better promises, of spiritual inheritance, eternal life, and salvation, and becoming a very son of YEHOVAH God through the resurrection of the dead (see Hebrews 8: 7-10; Romans 8:16-18; Hebrews 11:39-40).
Clearly the Celts retained a distant memory of YEHOVAH God marrying the nation of Israel -- even in their descent into paganism. They considered Lugh to be a supreme deity who, according to some, married Ireland herself -- and since Ireland was peopled at this time by the descends of Israel, the supreme deity -- Lugh -- married the Israelites!
The Historical Facts
As we have seen, this day was known to the Saxons as Lammas, or loaf-mass, a time when grains were harvested and baked into bread. The grain was harvested, giving its life so that people might live. The grain was made into bread, and the bread was symbolic of the gods. This closely echoes the two loaves of bread offered to YEHOVAH God on the day of Pentecost! One loaf pictures the Messiah himself! The other loaf pictures the Bride of the Messiah, the Church of YEHOVAH God! Pentecost, then, pictures the great celestial WEDDING DAY -- THE WEDDING CELEBRATION -- OF THE MESSIAH AND HIS BRIDE, SPIRITUAL ISRAEL who is called out of physical Israel!
Today many neo-pagans still celebrate Lammas or Lughnasadh as the day that celebrates the passing of light and the gathering of grains. Lammas is a time used to consider what has metaphorically been harvested over the past year. Wheat is woven into decorative pieces as resting places for harvest spirits then burned after the winter has passed. Bread is made and symbolically sacrificed in honor of the god. Corn dollies are made from cornhusk or wheat to represent the goddess who is still pregnant with the fruits of harvest. August is a time to reflect on the past year, on things that have come to fruition and things that failed. A time to let go of regrets and say farewell to things that have passed and preserve all the fruits that have been gathered to hold onto for future memories.
We realize that some skeptics will say that since these feasts were kept in honor of other gods and not to YEHOVAH God they therefore cannot be right.
While it is true that the ancient Israelite people honored other gods, it is also true that they did it around the appointed times of the true festivals of YEHOVAH. This is evident when we look at Passover versus Easter. Just because people hunt Easter eggs on Passover after the pagan goddess Easter, goddess of fertility, it does not mean that the true Passover does not exist around this time. The same is true with many of YEHOVAH’s feasts -- and there is no need for us to cry "paganism" to dodge the historical facts of the timing of how ancient Israel observed these major feasts. Unless you are willing to say that Passover does not exist because of the paganism of Easter that is mixed with it, you should not try to say that these other feasts do not exist and try to create a smokescreen when these unbiased people are simply telling us how and when these Celtic people (or ancient Israelites) observed these festivals.
To try to dismiss these facts just because paganism has crept in is not wise because it is like trying to dismiss Passover because Easter has crept in. As a matter of fact, it enhances our argument because Israel has always been notorious for going after other gods and treating YEHOVAH's counsel in a hypocritical manner. That is what these Celtic Israelite people were doing by giving honor to another on YEHOVAH's holy days -- so let’s don’t go off on a rabbit trail trying to dodge the facts of the matter just because it does not line up with our theology! Remember that the Israelites said “these be the gods that brought you out of the land of Egypt,” referring to the Golden calf -- and this was only 102 days after seeing all the miracles that YEHOVAH God did in the land of Egypt.
The Israelites were keeping a chag to YEHOVAH 50 days AFTER the seventh lunar Sabbath complete, see Exodus 32:5, and YEHOVAH severely punished them for worshiping a pagan idol on His holy day -- and even killed 3,000 of them. However, YEHOVAH God said nothing against the timing of this feast, only the worship of the golden image. It was on the very day that the law was given to Moses, which was written in stone, with the finger of YEHOVAH God. There were 3,000 souls saved when the law was written in the heart, instead of stone, in the book of Acts -- and they were both on the day of Pentecost!
It seems obvious from what we have read that there is NO THIRD MONTH FEAST mentioned in history, same as there is NO THIRD MONTH FEAST mentioned in the Bible. These are cold hard facts, and to be in denial of this is to be in denial of Scripture because there is NO third month feast mentioned in the Word of YEHOVAH God. To repeat -- there is “NO” third month feast or wheat harvest celebrated in the Bible OR ancient History. We challenge anyone to prove us wrong. Remember Leviticus 23:16 can be understood two different ways and therefore we must find a scripture that supports the correct interpretation of when we are to number the 50 days: Is it after the wave sheaf, or 50 days AFTER the seventh Sabbath complete? The answer should be obvious!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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