Lughnasa is the ancient Celtic Festival celebrating the beginning of the harvest. It was celebrated across three micronations this year: Clyro, Leylandiistan and West Germania. The festivities were marked in Leylandiistan by a candle-lighting ceremony in the depths of the Leyland Cypress (Leylandii) Forest around Orchardstown, and the baking and sharing of bread baked within Leylandiistan
Above: Candles are lit in the forest near Orchardstown, while bread is shared among citizens.
President Fionnbarra Ó Cathail gave a presidential address on the occasion of Lughnasa.
Bailimid le chéile chun fómhar na samhraidh a chéíliúradh le h-áthas, agus tá daoine bailithe i micreanáisiún chun Féíle Lughnasa a chéíliúradh freisin. Trasna na h-Oileán Briotanach, tagann micreanásiún éagsúil le chéile chun an féile mór seó a chéíliúradh. Sa Ghearmánia Thiar, glaotar Lofmasse ar an féile, agus i Clyro glaotar Lúnastal ar Feíle na Fómhair. I trí tír tá daoine bailithe chun Lughnasa a chéíliúradh. Agus táim an-sásta ar fad chun páirt a ghlacadh sa féile idirnáisiúnta seo.
This is Leylandiistan’s first major Celtic festival to be celebrated along with other micronations. In three nations we celebrate a common festival, and this common celebration unites the peoples of Leylandiistan, West Germania and Clyro. Here in Leylandiistan, celebrations were kept small and simple. Candles were lit at the forest in Orchardstown in front of Leylandiistan’s flag. Brown bread was baked and shared among citizens. Under the candlelight, citizens reflected on the summer gone past, and thought of the harvest to come.
Leylandiistan’s harvest season would be non-existent if it were not for the efforts of the agricultural sector. At An Fheirm Agricultural Co-operative, fresh produce has been available to our citizens for a number of months now. The sizeable carrot crop is almost ready to be harvested, and the apple trees at the orchards of Orchardstown are laden down with apples. As the harvest season comes to a close around the end of September and early October, we can expect blackberries, melons, strawberries and tomato crops to nourish our diets, and to reduce our dependence on imported produce. Self sufficiency is a goal of ours, and already we are self-sufficient in lettuce, chives, thyme, rosemary and parsley. We aim to be self sufficient in more essential crops in the future.
Lughnasa also helps us look to the future beyond the harvest. As we collect our produce , we can determine which crops were more successful and which ones were not so. We can decide what we need next year, and where vegetable and other crops should be planted. The co-op has already laid out plans for the production of oats, and the government has acquired the equipment needed to process the oats for human consumption. One enterprising citizen has already begun investigating ways to make cider from our apples. Lughnasa is a celebration of our successes in the agricultural sector, a sector which is the largest of our tiny economy.
Lughnasa this year is also a celebration of intermicronational co-operation. Our three nations are united in a common celebratory bond. In recent times our three nations have grown closer, and trilateral diplomatic relations between us, Clyro and West Germania is an idea likely to be implemented soon. Our common harvest festival unites us despite the distance geographically that lies between us. No doubt these are troubled times. Clyro and West Germania are both signatories of the Treaty of York, and are locked in conflict with New Israel. When this conflict will come to an end, and whether or not a peaceful solution is found in the mean time, are all questions with no clear answer. I have stressed time and time again that we will not join any conflict unless it affects our interests. But I wish our allies the very best of luck in the conflict, and I hope an end comes to this conflict soon.
This is not the only Celtic Festival we celebrate in Leylandiistan. We look forward to Samhain at the end of October, and Midwinter in December. We also look forward to two years of Leylandiistan in November. The days grow shorter, the harvest begins, and new friendships are made through the trilateral celebration of Lofmasse, Lúnastal and Lughnasa.
Long live our three nations, and may the harvest be as successful as ever!
Fionnbarra Ó Cathail