Witches Calendar

Wiccans live, worship and celebrate by the changing seasons and lunar cycles. The year is cyclical, it is like a wheel, revolving from season to season and year to year, hence the name "Wheel of the Year".  Every year there are eight Wiccan holidays known as Sabbats and there are 12 - 13 Esbats "lunar holy days" consisting of the new and full moons.

Here is a brief explanation of the Sabbats as celebrated by Wiccans: 

Samhain pronounced "sow-in" October 31 

Also known as Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, Hallowmass or Day of the Dead, Samhain is the Wiccan & Witch new year. This is one of the most important of Sabbats, for we remember those that passed from the world of the living, to the world of the dead and the veil separating the two worlds is at it's thinnest.

Yule (Winter Solstice) December 21

Winter has covered the earth and this is a time for the telling of stories, the sharing of skills and knowledge and the burning of the Yule log. It is the longest night of the year and Yule trees (where the idea of the Christmas tree came from) are decorated by Wiccans and are a symbol of the green, fertile land that will once gain spring forth with life come spring.

Candlemas (Brigid's Day or Imbolc) February 1 – 2

Spring is coming, although winter is still upon the land. Wiccans celebrate Candlemas by blessing their ritual tools and building a bonfire to signify the warm sun.

Ostara (Spring Equinox) March 21

This Sabbat corresponds with the arrival of Spring and is a good time to prepare for the planting of gardens, flowers, herbs and other plants. During this time, it is evident that Winter will end soon, and this is a very joyous occasion. Celebrating fertility, Wiccans paint eggs, an ancient fertility tradition which was adopted by Christians in celebrating Easter.

Beltane April 30 - May 1

Beltane, like Samhain, is an important Sabbat, and one of the most joyous. This is traditionally a fertility festival, and companions that wish to make a commitment to each other will hold a Handfasting (like marriage) to strengthen their commitment with one another. 

Midsummer (Litha or Summer Solstice) June 21

This is the longest day of the year. Everything has been planted, the days are warm, the animals are prolific and life is good.

Lammas (Lughnasadh) August 1

The harvest yields its bounty and a huge feast is prepared. Homemade breads, and Summer fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Corn dollys are made from dried corn husks and winter is just around the corner. 

Mabon (The Autumnal Equinox) September 21

This Sabbat celebrates the harvest of grain. Winter is closer yet and we appreciate the last harvests of the year. Wine is also made, as grapes ripen in some areas during this time. Wiccans celebrate this season with a feast of grains, apples, and other fruits and vegetables. The next Sabbat is Samhain, and so the wheel of the year starts its cycle again.