Throughout the year, witches and sorcerers engage in celebrations, and some of them are more important than others. These celebrations, reputed to be conducive to the practice of rituals, bear the name of Sabbats, when the cult is dedicated to the Sun, and Esbats, when it is dedicated to the Moon.
There are eight of them. Four are called minors and mark the entry into the four seasons. They are related to astronomical events and the corresponding dates therefore vary slightly to one or two days, from one year to the next: Yule, winter solstice ; Ostara, spring equinox ; Litha, summer solstice and Mabon, autumn equinox.
The four called major Sabbats are not related to astronomical events and it is over time that tradition has linked them to calendar dates: Samhain, 1st November, date considered as the first day of the new year ; Imbolc, 1st February ; Beltane, 1st May and Lugnasad, 1st August.
They are celebrated on the Full Moon nights and are therefore 12 or 13 a year. Here are some of their denominations:
In future articles, I will return in more detail on each Sabbat and Esbat.