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Sat, 03 Aug

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Llangadog

LAMMAS PILGRIMAGE

A day pilgrimage around Llyn y Fan Fach, walking the landscape of the legend, treading in the footsteps of ancestors, honouring source waters, and our soulful selves. There will be songs, music, stories, ceremony, friendship, feasting and fire. With Simmy Singh, ACW Future Wales Fellow.

LAMMAS PILGRIMAGE
LAMMAS PILGRIMAGE

Time & Location

03 Aug 2024, 11:30 – 23:30

Llangadog, Llangadog, Llanddeusant SA19 9UN, UK

Guests

About the event

A day pilgrimage among mountains steeped in legend, time to breathe and be enchanted by stories and music, to dip toes in a magical, Otherworldly lake, to drink inspiration from the land and follow in the footsteps of ancestors to a deeper, more connected sense of ourselves as the year begins to turn from summer green towards autumn gold.

Lakes and pools are special. They were considered sacred places by the ancestors of this land - portals to the Otherworld, guarded by Goddesses or female spirits; between places at which people of the Iron Age made offerings and sacrifices. The legend of Morwyn Llyn y Fan ~ the Maiden of Llyn y Fan, arose from this landscape and, who knows, maybe from those long ago times too. The story glimmers with old lore about the reverence and respect we owe to the beings of the Otherworld and to nature. As we mark Lammas, the first harvest, we'll contemplate this legend's medicine and walk with it, then pause to respond creatively to our surroundings, offer gratitude and song in small ceremonies as we meet the sources of great rivers, pass beneath Bronze Age cairns, and gather at a small upland stone circle to conclude our afternoon in the hills. Then, with our pilgrimage complete, it will be time to feast with a delicious meal prepared at Llanddeusant Village Hall, before gathering around the fire to share and listen to songs, stories, poems, music and reflections upon the day.

Lammas was a busy time for drovers and shepherds as they gathered livestock and drove them to the great Lammas markets. Following the Lammas markets and fairs, there was just a little time to rest and gather and feast. This pilgrimage follows in the footsteps of the shepherds and drovers of the upper Swansea valley, who walked or rode up to the shores of Llyn y Fan to celebrate 'Ffest y Bugeiliaid' ~ The Shepherd's Festival there on the 12th of August each year. They would gather and tell the story of the Maiden of Llyn y Fan at the lakeside, then watch to see if she might bless them with an appearance before feasting and then enjoying some sports and revels.  An account of this festivity by an old lady dating from the 19th Century tells of “thousands and thousands of people visiting the Lake of the Little Fan,” and when she was young, she often heard old men declare that at the time “a commotion took place in the lake, and that its waters boiled, which was taken to herald the approach of the Lake Lady and her oxen”.  This was one of many regional celebrations involving hilltop and mountain gatherings and feasts to celebrate Lammas, or 'Gwyl Awst' as it is known in Wales, and it's possible that it had very ancient roots, similar to its counterpart of the Lughnasa festival in Ireland. During the mid-1800s, the tradition seems to have died out but was replaced at Llyn y Fan by a non-conformist religious gathering of preaching and congregational singing at the lakeside.

Your guides for the day will be storyteller and pilgrimage leader Angharad Wynne, and Simmy Singh, a violinist and composer on a mission to merge the power of music and nature connection.  Simmy Singh is one of the current Future Wales Fellows - the recipient of a grant from the Arts Council of Wales and Natural Resources Wales that supports artists to explore how art helps connection with nature. Her research is to explore how the power of music, song and story can be harnessed to invite ceremony, ritual and reverence in a way that brings us together and helps connect us to this beautiful land on which we live.' This pilgrimage is a part of her Fellowship programme, and the cost is subsidised by her Future Wales Fellowship funding.

This event is suitable for age 16 +

WALK DETAILS

We will meet at the Llyn y Fan Fach Car Park near Llanddeusant. This pilgrimage begins with a steady and sometimes steep and strenuous ascent into an upland landscape that can be rough and uneven underfoot, but there will be regular stops along the way, and we'll be setting a gentle pace. At the lakeside we'll stop for lunch for up to an hour (you'll need to bring your own packed lunch for this). From there, we'll be crossing open moorland and then descending gradually, stopping at points along the way. The final part of the walk will involve a short, relatively easy scramble down a bank towards the car park area.  Distance c. 7.5 miles, total ascent c. 526 metres.

While we love dogs, we've found that it can be difficult to care for them and attend to meditations, quiet times, and ceremonies during pilgrimage, so we won't be welcoming dogs to this particular event.

THERE IS A TICKETING OPTION TO JUST JOIN US FOR THE EVENING.

FEAST AND FIRESIDE SONGS, STORIES AND REFLECTIONS from 6.30pm

Llanddeusant Village Hall is just over a mile and a half away (7 minutes drive) from the Llyn y Fan Fach Car Park, where our pilgrimage will begin and end. A vegetarian supper will await us there at 6.30 pm, and then we'll be joined by more musicians and guests for a feast of songs, stories, music, poetry, and reflections around the fire until late. You are encouraged to bring a song, poem, or story to share. Your pilgrimage ticket includes supper and the evening section of the event. 

TRANSPORT AND ACCOMMODATION NEARBY

This is not an easy place to get to on public transport, though not impossible if you have time on your hands.  Check out the Moovit Website for details to Llanddeusant YHA and walk from there to the Llyn y Fan car park.

If you're considering travelling to this event from afar, there are a number of local accommodation options. 

Check out:

The Wildman Woods Campsite right next to our meeting point for the pilgrimage.

Llanddeusant Youth Hostel Association just up the road in Llanddeusant, near our evening venue.

And a range of campsites, glamping, and B&Bs in the locality. 

In advance of the pilgrimage, we'll set up a WhatsApp group so that those attending can organise lift shares etc.

Tickets

  • PILGRIMAGE PLACE

    Sale ends: 01 Aug, 17:30

    This secures one adult place (16years +) on this pilgrimage and includes supper at Llanddeusant Village Hall and Fireside songs, stories and music.

    £20.00
  • Evening Gathering Ticket

    This ticket is just for the gathering at Llanddeusant village hall, for supper, stories and songs from 6.30pm. Those purchasing a full PILGRIMAGE ticket, do not need to purchase an evening ticket separately as it is included.

    £7.50

Total

£0.00

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