The Wheel of the Year
Samhain – 31 October
Also known as Halloween or All Hallows Eve, it is the festival of the dead because at this time, the veil between life and death is very thin. At this festival those that have passed over are remembered and death is celebrated as part of life. The Celtic New Year starts today.
Yule – 21 December
Yule is the time of the winter solstice, when the sun is reborn; it is a time of hope. This festival is celebrated by decorating with evergreen plants and family celebrations. In Northern Tradition Yule is regarded as the New Year.
Imbolc– 2 February:
Also known as Candlemas, is the beginning of Spring when life and light start to return it is the festival of hearth and home and us generally celebrated with a bonfire or candles.
Ostara– 21 March
Also known as the Spring Equinox. Light and dark are equal and youth and fertility are celebrated. This is a time for renewing things and self and for clearing out the rubbish. It is celebrated by painting eggs and decorating with flowers.
Beltane – 30 April\1 May
The May Day celebration associated with fertility hence the maypole and therefore a traditional time for marriage and handfasting. This is another Fire festival and is traditionally celebrated by jumping over the bonfire and the eating of oatcakes.
This is the Summer Solstice also known as Midsummer. It is the longest day of the year and is celebrated with fire to help the sun god as he now starts his decline, a bonfire or at least a candle was traditionally kept burning for a day and a night.
Lughnasadh –1 August
Also known as Lammas, is the time of the start of the harvest and is traditionally celebrated by making corn dollies or wicker men and the bonfire. It is a time for giving thanks for all that you have.
Mabon– 21 September
Also known as Autumn Equinox and is the middle of the harvest. This is a time for preparation for the winter and to celebrate aging and to take stock and make plans for the coming year.