THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR & IT’S 8 ETERNAL HOLIDAYS
these holidays are the cycles naturally existant with in God, but any additional holidays are acceptable for truely everyday is a day to celebrate.
Samhain is one of the four “greater Sabbats”. It is generally observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility.
In most traditions, Yule is celebrated as the rebirth of the Great God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. The method of gathering for this sabbat varies by group or individual practitioner. Some have private ceremonies at home, while others hold Group celebrations. the Winter solstice.
Imbolc or Candlemas, is one of four “fire festivals” of the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is the traditional time for initiations. Imbolc is strongly associated with the Divine Mother.
Also Imbolc is considered a traditional time for rededication and pledges for the coming year.
The vernal equinox, often called Ostara, is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox. Among the sabbats, it is preceded by Imbolc and followed by Beltane.
In terms of theology, this festival is characterized by the rejoining of Mother and the young god, who spent the winter months in death. Other variations include the young God regaining strength in his youth after being born at Yule, and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect.
Beltane is one of the four “fire festivals” or “greater sabbats”. Although the holiday may use features of the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as maypole dancing). Some Wiccans celebrate ‘High Beltaine’ by enacting a ritual union of the May Lord and Lady.
Midsummer is one of the four solar holidays, and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. Among the sabbats, Midsummer is preceded by Beltane, and followed by Lammas or Lughnasadh.
Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being the Autumn equinox (or Mabon) and Samhain.
The name Lammas (contraction of Loaf-mass) suggests feast of thanksgiving for grain and bread, which symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest.
The holiday of Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the winter months. In the northern hemisphere this equinox occurs anywhere from September 21 to 24. In the southern hemisphere, the autumn equinox occurs anywhere from March 20–23. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.