The Wiccan Calendar follows an eight fold year with 8 festivals on the solstice, equinoxes and cross quarters. The year follows a cycle starting with birth symbolised by the Egg following through to death symbolised by the burning of effigies at the autumn cross quarter. The dates and meanings of these festivals are summarised as follows.
2nd Febuary – Imbolc
Imbolc is traditionally a time for burning candles. It is also linked to Bride the life force that brings the earth from winter into spring. Some Wiccans purchase candles at this time and burn them in celebration of this festival.
21st March – Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox is a time for Eggs celebrating new birth. The eating of hot cross buns is originally based on the spring equinox with the cross representing the four quarters of the year. Within the Wiccan tradition it makes more sense to eat them on the spring equinox or at the full Egg Moon (the full moon following the Spring Equinox). The name Easter represents the pagan goddess Eostre, linked to eggs and the etymology is linked to Oestrogen linked to the production of eggs in humans.
1st May – Beltane
This is Mayday, a time for maypole dancing and widely seen as a fertility festival
21st June – Summer Solstice
The summer solstice is a traditional time for bonfires to celebrate the longest day.
1st August – Lammas
Lammas means Loaf Mass and is the start of the harvet period, and traditionally the time when the first loaf was baked.
21st September – Autumn Equinox
The Autumn equinox is the end of harvest and the time for the harvest festival
31st October – Halloween
Halloween is the time where traditionally people put out pumpkin lamps to guide the spirits back to their home
21st December – Winter Solstice
The winter solstice is a time for festivities and for the bringing in of the evergreen into the house to show that the the new year will come.