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The Festivals

bearded man with a hatIn Traditionalist Witchcraft the festivals are festive times of celebration, but they are of less importance than the Full Moons. Note that celebrations and traditions vary considerably between Trads.

Many Trads are likely to keep only some of the festivals while other Trads may keep festivals associated with their honored gods. Some may keep Saturnalia in addition to Yule. Each seeker needs to decide for him or herself which festivals to observe. Of course, as time goes by, you will gain insight as to which festivals have special meaning to you.

List of the Most Common Festivals:

Imbolc - The Festival of Lights, also Brigit's Day, is sacred to Brigit, the Fire Goddess, begins on February 1st or the first sign of Spring. Candles are always lit.

May Day - Also called Beltane, is on the 1st of May, it is a celebration of the beginning of summer.

Midsummer - The Summer Solstice, (but is usually not on the exact day of the actual solstice), begins the night of 23rd June until following day at sundown. This is a national holiday in some Northern European countries.

Lughnasadh - Harvest Home, August 1st or on the Full Moon, still celebrated in Ireland and in some areas in Northern Europe.

Samhain (pronounced: SOW-an and not "sam hain") - October 31st or November 1st.

Yule (pronounced: you-EL and not "youl") - This 12-day winter festival starts at sundown on the 24th of December, timing it with the Winter Solstice according to the old Julian calendar.


Twelfth Night - Twelve nights after the first day of Yule, January 5th, concludes the Yuletide season with a feast.


Full observance of a festival involves honoring that day with activities related to that festival. Dedicate the day as a special day.

Before hand, read about the festival you plan to observe. Note that when you do research, Wiccan rituals do not necessarily reflect the historic traditions and customs of these festivals. Read non-Wiccan books.

Decide upon appropriate activities. I recommend you buy special treats, special foods and drink.

On the eve of the festival (the night before the day of the festival is always the beginning of a festival), light candles and maybe incense. Enjoy a fine dinner. Families with young children may follow the meal with the children's favorite games.

On the day of the festival, do special things you and your family like to do. If you are alone, take a long walk in a park. Meditate. Visit a museum, art gallery, or see a movie. Do something appropriate to the festival.

I would suggest that if circumstances prevent you from doing much, then at least you might light a candle and have a glass of wine.

Moon through the trees.



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