As a Wiccan, there are 8 major holidays that we celebrate. Here is a brief explanation of each. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me!
The shortest day of the year and the longest night. This is usually the 20th or 21st of December. It is celebrated by fire and the use of the Yule log. The colors of the season are red and green and are of original Pagan descent. The act of cutting and decorating the Yule Tree and exchanging gifts are also Pagan derivatives. Wreaths of holly and fancy cookies and breads are part of the tradition as well. Food is prepared specially for the after dinner Yule celebration when the tree is lighted and the Yule log is burned. A portion of the Yule log is saved in lighting the next years log. Bayberry candles are also burned to ensure wealth and happiness throughout the following year. They can be placed on the dining table at sun set and burned until they go out by themselves. The reindeer stag is also a reminder of the horned God.
Celebration of banishing the winter season. Falls on February 2. Lavender and white candles can be burned in honor of the holiday. This is a good time to work in the house, changing tablecloths and painting and fixing furniture. Spring colors, or pastels are used to mark this holiday. Hang indian corn or pine cones decorated in ribbons on your front door to welcome spring.
Spring (Vernal) Equinox
This Sabbat occurs in mid-March when nights and days are of equal length. It is a celebration of balance, not really Winter but not yet Spring. The festival is considered one of fertility. Seeds are blessed for future plantings. Eggs are colored and placed on the altar as magickal talismans. The familiar Easter Bunny is a Pagan derivative, as are baskets of flowers. The colors are light green, lemon yellow and pale pink. This is the time to treat yourself to a new broom. A naming ceremony for the besom can be included in the festivities. Twisted bread and sweet cakes are prepared to be served at dusk, or prepare a family breakfast that coincides with sunrise on this day.
Beltane is celebrated on the 5th day of May. Beltane is when people, plants, and animals prepare for the warm months ahead. This is a time for love, union, and of course, the Maypole. It is a time of joining the two halves to make a whole. Traditional colors are red and white, representing the blood that flows from the woman when her purity is taken. Pick a tree in your yard and adorn with ribbons of these colors.
Midsummers Night Celebration
This is the longest day of the year. A celebration of passion and success. Sunflowers and any flowers of red and maize yellow or gold are excellent altar decorations. A wreath can be made for your door with red feathers, and yellow feathers intertwined with ivy. Altar candles should be of gold and red. Time to commune with field and forest sprite and faeries.
This is the first of the three harvest celebrations in the Craft. Lammas is celebrated August 2. Represents the beginning of the harvest cycle and rest on the early grain harvest as well as those fruits and vegetables that are ready to be taken. Bread is traditionally baked for this holiday, and the altar is decorated with the first fruits of garden labor. Canning goes into full swing, and magickal cabinets are stocked with herbs before the onset of fall. Herbs for magickal use should be harvested on this day. Empower some of them in ritual. Prepare your house for fall.
This is the second harvest festival, associated with the taking of corn and other foods that are to be harvested at this time. Cornbread cakes and cider are excellent addition to the festivities. The frost will hit soon so the last of the herbs and other plants you wish to dry for the winter use should be harvested now. Paraffin leaves and add to house decorations. Colors used should be brown, orange, gold or red. River and stream stones gathered over the summer can be empowered for various uses at this time.
This is the last of the three harvest Sabbats. It is celebrated October 31st. Celebrations to honor the dead, along with speaking to those who have passed over, divination is heightened on this night. Jack-O-Lanterns, gourds, cider and other fares of the season can be used in ritual and family celebration. Black candles are used to ward of negativity. Colors are black and orange. This day marks the Pagan new year.