As we know, Pagans, generally, celebrate the turning of the ‘Wheel of the Year’ with the following festival days:
Ostara/Spring Equinox (March)
Litha/Summer Solstice (June)
Lughnasadh/Autumn Equinox (September)
Yule/Winter Solstice (December)
In Heathenry, there’s not one structure of celebration like the Pagan ‘Wheel of the Year’. However, here is a selection of events that are generally celebrated, they are somewhat different from, but still have similar attributes to, the Pagan ones. Of course, these are modern-day interpretations of the ancient Heathen celebratory days.
The Charming of the Plow/Disting /Solmonað* (February)
Summer Finding/ Eostre/Hreðmonað* (March)
Walburga/May Day (May)
Midsummer/Summer Solstice (June)
Freyfaxi/Thing’s Tide (August)
Winter Finding/Winter Nights (October)
Yuletide (Jul, Jól) (December)
(* Represents the names of the Anglo-Saxon celebrations mentioned by Bede in his work ‘The Reckoning of Time’ (Latin: De temporum ratione) dated 725.)
A caveat to the above list, most Heathens don’t celebrate all these dates and the dates are movable. Basically, many Heathens celebrate their festival days depending on the movement of seasons within their own countries rather than a rigid calendar.
For more information of the meanings of these celebratory days please consult the following websites:
Whatever the date and reason for a celebration there is usually a blot. What is a ‘blot’, you might ask…
A blot is a Heathen ritual. The word ‘blot’ comes from the word ‘blood’ and means a sacrifice. The Ancestors thought it perfectly normal to feed a community with an animal, which had been ritually slaughtered at such a rite. Today, Heathens make different sacrifices and there are good mythological reasons to use mead or other alcoholic drink for this. The part of the blot where it’s drunk is called ‘Sumble’ (see my ‘Sumble 101’ article), and Heathens will make ritual toasts and boasts whilst passing a horn of hallowed mead around.
However you celebrate the passing of the seasons and year, remember to spare a thought and perhaps a horn of something for the Ancestors, without whom, none of us would be here.
Blessings to your Hearth,
Paranormal/Fantasy Novelist, Best Selling eBook Author and Award Winning Blog Writer.