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The festival is named after the god Lugh, and involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests (most notably the Tailteann Games), feasting, matchmaking, and trading. There were also visits to holy wells.
Lughnasadh customs persisted widely until the twentieth century. The custom of climbing hills and mountains at Lughnasadh has survived in some areas, although it has been re-cast as a Christian pilgrimage. Since the latter twentieth century, Celtic neopagans have observed Lughnasadh, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. In some places, elements of the festival have been revived as a cultural event.
Arnold Lucius Gesell (June 21, 1880 – May 29, 1961) was a pioneer in the field of child development, whose research on developmental milestones is still widely used by pediatricians, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children. He developed techniques for observing children in natural play situations without disturbing them, thus providing behavioral measures free from the effects of interference by researchers. Gesell recognized the importance of both nature and nurture in children's development. He believed that children go through the stages he identified in a fixed sequence, within a certain time period, based on innate human abilities. He maintained that children should be raised through "reasonable guidance," supporting the natural growth of their abilities. Thus, parents should neither impose strict control nor allow excessive freedom. His work influenced many twentieth-century theorists, stimulating research to discover the conditions required to support normal growth and psychological development for all children.