The first rainstorms of the season, the scent of wood smoke fills the night air, a sudden gust as a brisk wind hurls leaves off the trees in a maelstrom of color, the last rush to harvest the garden before the frost sets in…it is the Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, and the year is winding down.
Mabon is the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are once again in balance. Once more the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night equal one another.
Celebrated in late September, the actual date varies from year-to-year as with all astronomically-based holidays, but Mabon usually falls on September 21st or 22nd.
Named after the Welsh God Mabon, the festival is primarily one of harvest and thanksgiving and is a time of rejoicing in the bounty of the season as the Earth prepares to enter her long slumber. This is the time of last-minute details before the winter’s siege. It is considered the second harvest, or the harvest of fruits.
At this time, we celebrate the hard work of the growing season and the energy expended throughout the Waxing Year, when we see the results of our labors.
Mabon is a time of rest and relaxation, of good food and quiet introspection on all the blessings in our lives. We remember the warmth of summer as the days grow short and we prepare for the austere seasons ahead. It is a time of reflection, when we slowly let go of the bustle that always attends growth, and turn our attention to quieter pursuits.
With the days shortening, we fill our pantries with food and make our houses secure against the coming chill. We lay in wood and meat and provisions, and we silently eye the calendar, wondering what the season of darkness holds.