There are eight Pagan holidays, and they are collectively called Sabbats. "Sabbat" comes from the French word, "s'ebattre", which means to rejoice, frolic, and revel. That is exactly what these days are for, the joyous celebration of life and nature. Sabbats, are determined by nature, not arbitrarily determined by people. Remember, Washington's ...
There are eight Pagan holidays, and they are collectively called Sabbats. "Sabbat" comes from the French word, "s'ebattre", which means to rejoice, frolic, and revel. That is exactly what these days are for, the joyous celebration of life and nature. Sabbats, are determined by nature, not arbitrarily determined by people. Remember, Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays were combined, and then moved to Monday to boot, you can't get much more arbitrary. The eight Sabbats are determined by the Earth and Sun, and the natural energy created by their relationships to each other. This makes them entirely natural holidays, where the natural energies are at high or low points. These were also important dates to our ancestors, who used them to help determine when to plant, and harvest.
So what are these Sabbats?
Once a year, we have a night that is the longest night of the year, accompanied by the shortest day. We call this day the "Winter Solstice". On the exact opposite point on the wheel of the year, we have the longest day of the year, and the shortest night. This we call the "Summer Solstice". Each Spring, there comes a day when the hours between sunrise and sunset are exactly equal to the hours between sunset and sunrise. This we call the "Vernal Equinox". Each Fall there is another day when the hours of darkness and the hours of daylight are exactly in balance. This we call the "Autumnal Equinox". These four days are known as "quarter-days" as the divide the year into four equal sections. To Pagans, these are also know as the Lesser Sabbats.
The other four holidays are defined by the first four. These days bisect, or are at the midpoint, of the other four holidays. Hence, they are sometimes called the cross-quarter days. These are the also called the Greater Sabbats. These Sabbats are considered by some to be the four most important holidays as they each represent turning points in the seasons, and one is the turning of the year. Between winter solstice and vernal equinox is Imbolc. Between the vernal equinox and summer solstice is Beltane. Between summer solstice and autumnal equinox is Lughnasadh (Lammas). Between autumnal equinox and winter solstice is Samhain (Halloween). Samhain is also the turning of the year, and is considered to be the most important and powerful of all the Sabbats.
The incense below can can assist you in many magickal applications. Some of the incenses are for Rituals you may perform at any time of the year, for consecration of tools and to bring a certain energy into a room.
Mabon the Fall Equinox, is our harvest celebration. As during the Spring Equinox is is a time of balance between dark and light. But now, we are moving from light to darkness, from warmth to cold. We gather the harvest of summer and prepare for the winter ahead.
Ostara promises freedom form the dreariness of winters, it heralds the return of hope and dreams. With the days lengthening, we fill our lungs with fresh air and drink the pungent cleansing teas that clear our bodies from the heavy foods of winter.
Samhain is also our New Year's Day. It may seem strange to have a new year begin in the fall, when the days are growing shorter and colder. But death and birth are two sides of the same coin. It is the time of death and the time of new beginnings, when we think about hope and change and what the next year will bring.