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Celebrating the Seasons (Part 4)
There are many celebrations around the year, especially when one considers a range of cultural sources.  However there are eight "hot spots" so to speak, where the turn of the seasons is most apparent, and which have been celebrated by the Celts as well as by the Romans, and which eventually, in an effort to facilitate conversion, were re-interpreted as Christian holidays.  The Pre-Christian elements of these celebrations have been re-discovered by modern strands such as Wicca and other neo-Pagan movements.  Rather than view this as a clash of interpretations, the perspective I take is to view this process as one that adds to the richness of the mythological fabric of these celebrations.  

These Eight seasonal festivals are the two Equinoxes and the two Solstices, and the four days known as the Cross-Quarter days, which are located more or less between the Equinoxes and the Solstices.  Here are the most common names of the festivals, with their approximate dates.  More information can be obtained by clicking on each individual festival.  

The Winter Solstice - circa December 21st
Yule; the Saturnalia and the Feast of Janus; the Birthday of
Mithras; St. Lucy's Day; Christmas, New Year and Twelfth Night.

Imbolc - February 1st
Imbolc, Feast of Brigit; St. Brigit's day; Candlemas, Presentation of
the Christ in the Temple and Purification of the Virgin; Groundhog Day.

The Spring Equinox - circa March 21st
Ostara; Roman New Year; St. Patrick's Day; St. Gabriel's
Feast and the Annunciation; Holy Week and Easter;

May Day - May 1st
Beltane; May Day; Walpurgisnacht; Roodmas; the Feast
of St. Joseph the Worker, and the Crowning of Mary.

The Summer Solstice - June 21st
Litha; Midsummer's Day; the Birth of St. John.

Lammas - August 1st
Lughnasadh; Lammas, the First Harvest.

The Autumn Equinox - September 23rd
Mabon; Feast of St. Michael; the Second Harvest.

Samhain - October 31st
Samhain, Allantide; Hallowmas - Hallowe'en, All Saints' Day,
All Souls' Day; el Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

© Michael Deguara, - Last updated - 15 May 2003