Sabbats: Wheel of the Year
Date: Around December 21 (on the winter solstice)
Alternate Names: Winter Solstice,Midwinter
Yule is a celebration of peace, hope for the future, and of Life. It's a celebration that counteracts the gloomy cold of the dark half of the year.The Goddess gives birth to the God.The Sun's light begins to grow.Even though days are still cold,the Sun is returning to us. Yule is a time when the Sun turns from its plunge into darkness; a time of rebirth and renewal.It is a time to reach out to friends and family and those in need; A time to let go of this year past and embrace the New Year's change.
Mistletoe: It's possibly an old Druid custom to kiss someone you care for beneath the mistletoe.
Evergreen Tree: (or Yule Tree) this tree is decorated at Yuletime and is a symbol of the Tree of Life or the World Tree.
Gift-giving: Since Yule is a time of appreciation,family,and love... gift-giving is a common tradition.
Date: February 2
Alternate Names: Candlemas,Brighid's Day,Festival of the Waxing Light,Oimelc, Lady Day
Imbolc is from a Gaelic word immolg which means 'in milk'. Another translation is 'first milk'. It refers to the time of year when the ewes and cattle are giving birth and are feeding their young. There is also "imbolg" which translates to 'in the belly'.
Imbolc marks the Earth's reawakening. We celebrate the first stirrings of Spring in the womb of the Goddess.The days are growing longer by this time. Symbolically,the Goddess is presented as the bride of the sun.
This is the time of year to pay attention to creativity,projects that you've begun,healing arts and productivity in general.
Lighted Candles: candles are lit right after sunset to welcome the Star Child (son of the Goddess).
Date: Around March 21 (Spring Equinox)
Alternate Names: Eostar,Spring Equinox
Spring begins on this day. It's a day of equal Light and Dark and there is
a balance of male and female energies in nature. Spring is the season of
rebirth and renewal. The Goddess is a young vibrant maiden. The young God is
maturing. At this time the earth reawakens from its wintry sleep. Ostara
is a festival of Light,Fertility,and New Beginnings.
Date: May 1
Alternate Spelling: Bealtane,Bealtaine,Beltaine
Alternate Name: May Day
Beltane is Spring at it's peak. It's a celebration of Love and Joy. Symbolically,this is the union of the Goddess and God. The sabbat name likely came from an ancient Celtic God,Belenus. He was the god of Light, Healing,the sun,and one of the eldest gods recognized in that culture. May 1 marks the beginning of the warm season and it is the last stop on the road to summer.
May Pole: Witches dance around the May Pole,weaving their ribbons around it during the celebration.
May Queen: One is usually crowned during the festivities.
Date: Around June 21 (Summer Solstice)
Alternate Name: Summer Solstice,Midsummer
Litha is the climax of solar light and is a very passionate festival. Litha is when the sun is at its greatest power before it begins to wane. At During this festival, the daytime last longer than the night. It marks the beginning of summer.
Herb-Gathering: this is another popular tradition for Litha.The flowers, like the rose are used in decorations.
Date: August 1
Alternate names: Lughnasadh (pronounced "loo-nah-suh")
Lammas is the first of the Harvest festivals. The name Lughnasadh was given to the festival because it is in honor of the celtic god,Lugh. Lugh is the god of light, the Corn King. This is a time of joy and sadness; we reap in the harvest's bounty,yet we know that solar light is beginning to fade with the coming winter. This is the time when,symbolically,the God begins to die.
Date: Around September 21 (Fall Equinox)
Alternate Name: Fall Equinox
Mabon is the witch's Thanksgiving celebration. It is the second harvest
festival; fruit for wine is harvested at this time.
Gathering: roots and herbs were gathered at this time for medicines. Now,families gather together during this season.
Date: October 31
Alternate Names: Halloween, Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve, Ancestress Night, Festival of the Dead
This is often viewed as the witch's New Year and is a time of reflection.
Autumn is at its peak during Samhain (pronounced "sow-en"). The Earth is
gathering up it's energy to prepare for winter.
Honoring: Our ancestors and dead loved ones are honored at Samhain.