The Wiccan philosophy is to honor the eternal cycle of life. The Wiccan calandar is often called the wheel of the year and it shows this never-ending cycle.
The Wiccan year technically begins on the sabbat or holy day of Yule. On this day the Goddess gives birth to the God. The God grows strong throughout the spring and summer. In fall, the God and Goddess unite. At this reunion, the Goddess becomes pregnant with the new God. The old God dies on Samhain or Halloween. Then, the God is reborn at Yule. This cycle of life is celebrated symbolically by Wiccans through rituals on the eight Sabbats or holy days.
Yule is associated closely with Christmas and Wiccans celebrate rebirth and life triumphs over death. The Goddess gives birth to the God on this day. Yule is celebrated on December 21.
Bridgid, also known as Imbolc, is on February 2. This Sabbat focuses on purification, initiation and dedication. Imbolc is a time of spiritual cleansing and renewal of vows.
Esotara, also known as Ostara, is on March 21 and the focus of the Sabbat is conception, regeneration, and celebration of new beginnings. It is a spring Equinox celebration that marks the beginning of longer days and shorter nights. Ostara marks the union of the God and Goddess and symbolizes fertility.
Beltane is on May 1 and celebrates the passion that fuels life, joy and fertility. Beltane represents the end of the planting season and the beginning of harvesting. It also represents fertility and a during this time there are traditionally (ssshhhh) loosened rules for fidelity.
Lithia is on June 21 and celebrates transition and planning. On Lithia Wiccans celebrate gratitude, abundance and fruition. Lithia marks the absolute peak of the Gods strength. Large bonfires are often lit in the summer during this time to ward off evil spirits.
Celebrated on August 1, Lammas, or Lughnasadh is a time when the Goddess turns over control to the God. It is a time of feasts, faires and craft festivals. Wiccans revel, shop, eat and enjoy festivities on this day. The weather is beautiful and it is a wonderful time for Wiccans to enjoy a festive atmosphere with fellow witches.
Mabon is on September 21 and the focus of this Sabbat is giving thanks and reflection. Mabon is celebrated at the Autumn Equinox. Mabon represents the balance between light and dark, as it is the day that nights start becoming longer than days. Mabon is officially the Pagan day of Thanksgiving.
Samhain is a Wiccan sabbat that is considered the Pagan new year. On this holiday Wiccans honor the dead and perform cleansing and releasing ceremonies. The Wiccan Samhain is October 31/November 1 coinciding with Halloween.
You might notice that Wiccan rituals are customary on these aforementioned occasions. The rituals typically celebrate the seasonal cycle and major solar and lunar events. The celebrations of the Wiccan holidays often resemble other religious holidays. For example, Yule and Christmas are celebrated in a similar manner.
The goal of any Sabbat celebration is to honor the Divine in every single aspect of life. Take the opportunity on these 8 Wiccan Sabbat days to recharge your spiritual beliefs and turn over a new leaf. If you align yourself with the Earth then peacing and happiness will emanate in your personal aura and energies.