Artist's image of Lugh, the Sun god.
Click on image for full size
Nate Proulx, Windows to the Universe Original


Lugh, whose name means "the shining one," was the Celtic Sun god. The underworld god Balor was his grandfather. Balor was the leader of the Fomorii. The Fomorii were evil people that lived in the darkness of the underworld. According to a prophecy, Balor had to be killed by his grandson. To prevent this from happening, Balor had his daughter Ethlinn imprisoned in a crystal tower .

Nonetheless, Cian, the son of the medicine god, entered the tower . Ethlinn gave birth to a child whose name was Lugh. Unfortunately, as soon as the child was born, Balor had him thrown into the sea to drown. Lugh miraculously escaped from his destiny of death and was raised in the utmost secrecy by the god of the sea, Manannan. He learned the skills of the arts and crafts, and became an expert warrior.

When he reached manhood, he joined the Tuatha De Danaan, "the peoples of the goddess Dana" in their struggle against the Fomorii. During a desperate battle, the king of the Tuatha De Danaan died, being hit by the evil gaze of Balor. Balor had a malicious gaze capable of killing whomever looked at it. However, Lugh threw a magic stone ball at Balor's eye, and killed Balor as the prophecy had predicted. Lugh then became the king of the Tuatha De Danaan.

Lugh corresponds to the Welsh god Lleu and the Gallic Lugos. From Lugh's name derives the names of modern cities such as Lyon, Laon and Leyden. Today, people remember the figure of Lugh with a festival which commemorates the beginning of the harvest in August. The feast of Lugh, called by the Celts "Lughnasadh", is better known now as Lammas, or the feast of first fruits.

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more


Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more


Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more


Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more


In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more


According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more


In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more


According tho the Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the misbehavior of the mischievous deity, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA