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Encyclopedia > Mabon

Mabon is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats of American Neopaganism. It is celebrated on the autumn equinox, which in the northern hemisphere is circa September 21 and in the southern hemisphere is circa March 21. In the Wiccan form of neopaganism, a Sabbat is one of the eight major seasonal festivals which make up the Wheel of the Year. ... The word pagan is derived from the Latin Paganus, meaning of or from the country. ... In astronomy, the autumnal equinox signals the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere: the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward; the equinox occurs around September 22–September 24, varying slightly each year according to the 400-year cycle of leap years in the... September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ...

Also called Harvest Home or simply Autumn Equinox, this holiday is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and God during the winter months.

Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas and followed by Samhain. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...

Antiquity of Mabon

Mabon was not an authentic ancient festival either in name or date. The autumn equinox was not celebrated in Celtic countries, while all that is known about Anglo-Saxon customs of that time was that September was known as haleg-monath or 'holy month'.

The name Mabon has only been applied to the neopagan festival of the autumn equinox very recently; the term was invented by Aidan Kelly in the 1970s as part of a religious studies project. (The use of Litha for the Summer Solstice is also attributed to Kelly). Previously, in Gardnerian Wicca the festival was simply known as the 'Autumnal Equinox', and many neopagans still refer to it as such, or use alternative titles such as the neo-Druidical Aban Efed, a term invented by Iolo Morgannwg. Litha, the entire light half of the year, is centered upon Midsummer, with which it is easily identified, so that the summer solstice holiday is often referred to as Litha, especially in the recreated calendar used in the revived Germanic religion of Asatru. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Iolo Morganwg (or Morgannwg in modern spelling) was the bardic name of Edward Williams (Llancarfan, Glamorgan, Wales 1747-1826). ...

The name Mabon was chosen to impart a more authentic-sounding "Celtic" feel to the event, since all the other festivals either had names deriving from genuine tradition, or had had names grafted on to them. The Spring Equinox had already been misleadingly termed 'Ostara', and so only the Autumn Equinox was left with a technical rather than an evocative title. Accordingly, the name Mabon was given to it, having been drawn (seemingly at random) from Welsh mythology.

The use of the name Mabon is much more prevalent in America than Britain, where many neopagans are scornfully dismissive of it as a blatantly unauthentic practice.[1] The increasing number of American Neopagan publications sold in Britain by such publishers as Llewellyn has however resulted in some British neopagans adopting the term.

Popular culture

Mabon is the name of a Celtic band.


  • Kelly, Aidan (1991) Crafting the Art of Magic Llewellyn.

See also Wheel of the Year. In Neopaganism, the Wheel of the Year is the natural cycle of the seasons, commemorated by the eight Sabbats. ...

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Llewellyn's On-line Bookstore: Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon (161 words)
Llewellyn's On-line Bookstore: Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon
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Mabon, Feast of Avalon, Cornucopia, Harvest Home, Festival of the Vine.
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