The Wheel Of The Year

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The Four Seasons are known as Solar Festivals, in that they mark a seasonal change caused by the Sun. The cross quarter days are marked by Fire Festivals and are usually celebrated as significant agricultural festivals. Together the Solar Festivals and the Fire Festivals make up the Wheel Of The Year, which is an annual cycle of seasonal festivities observed by many modern Pagans.The Wheel Of The Year, is often broken into eight festivals, whether they are the eight Asatru Blots, Seasonal Festivals or Celtic Sabbats, and the observance of Solar energies at the solstices and equinoxes and the Fire energies on the cross quarter days, is a common theme throughout the world.

The Festivals of the Wheel Of The Year also represent the active and dormant states of nature, man and agriculture. Each of the festival days was ruled by a governing deity, whether a God or Goddess, with each region having its own associated deity. From planting to reaping to winter to summer… the seasons were of great importance to our ancestors, for their very existence depended upon good harvests, mild winters, enough rainfall.

Imbolc – Feb 2nd
Disablot/Imbolc/Candlemas.
This holiday is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid’s

Beltane – May 1 April 30th/May 1st
May Eve
(Beltane derived from the Irish Gaelic “Bealtaine” or the Scottish Gaelic “Bealtuinn”, meaning “Bel-fire”, the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus).)

Lughnasa – August 2, July 31st/Aug 1st
Frey Fest/Lughnasa/Lugnasad/Lammas

Samhain – October 31
Winter Nights/Samhain/Feile Moingfinne/Halloween
(*Note: Samhain is pronounced sowen, soween, saw-win, saw-vane or sahven, not sam-hayne)

Winter Solstice – Yule – Dec 21st/22nd
(Yule from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Yula’, meaning ‘wheel’ of the year.)

Spring Equinox – Ostara – Mar 21st/22nd

Summer Solstice – Litha – Midsummers Eve – June 21st/22nd
(Midsummer, Gathering Day, Summer Solstice, Alban Heffyn, Feill-Sheathain)

Autumn Equinox – Harvest – Mabon – Sept 21st/22nd
Gwyl canol Hydref or Mabon: (pronounced Ma-bon. Also known as Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Fall Equinox, Autumn Equinox etc.)

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