Mabon: The Autumn Equinox
What is Mabon?
One of the minor Wiccan and Pagan holidays (or sabbats), Mabon is also known as the Autumn Equinox. It is the second of the 3 harvest festivals (with Lughnasadh and Samhain) when the earth is cooling from the heat of summer and the crops are being harvested and stored for the coming winter.
Like the Summer Solstice, day and night are of equal length but after Mabon, the night becomes longer for the dark half of the year.
Think of Mabon as the Thanksgiving for pagans. It is a celebration of the Earth's bounty and the first step to prepare for winter which in many parts of the world, is frozen and barren.
When is Mabon?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox falls somewhere between September 19 - 23rd (see our Wheel of the Year Calendar for the exact date of Mabon this year). Many pagans celebrate Mabon with a family feast, especially those who grew up celebrating Thanksgiving. It is a time to prepare for the upcoming winter and reflect on the previous year to wrap up any projects you began in Spring.
The History of Mabon
Mabon is not an ancient holiday as many believe. While our ancestors definitely did celebrate the harvest, Mabon was actually added to the pagan calendar by Gerald Gardner's coven with the name Mabon (named after the son of Modred of Welsh myths) added in the 1970s.
As a harvest festival, Mabon celebrations should focus on nature, growth, family gatherings, and preparations for winter. Be grateful for the blessings you have received that you are now reaping the benefits of in any area of your life. Give thanks and offerings to the Gods or the Earth for fertility and to give back part of the harvest as a sacrifice. Then enjoy a meal of fruits and vegetables that are seasonal for your region.
Family gatherings are a great way to celebrate the harvest as you celebrate the fruits of your family as well as the land. Share family stories and memories, walk in nature and breath in the change of seasons that is in the air. Reflect in your journal or Book of Shadows about any seeds you planted in Spring that have come to maturity now.