Mabon (May-bawn) is also known as the Feast of Avalon, the Festival of the Wine and the Festival of the Apple Harvest.
This year the Equinox will fall on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM EDT.
On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it’s called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning “equal night”.
Today we have better methods and tools to measure astrological events. So we know that this initial accepted idea of equal hours isn’t necessarily true. In reality equinoxes don’t have exactly 12 hours of daylight. But let’s not mess the holiday with that. It’s tradition!
The September equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south. This happens each year about the same time in September. The equinox can fall on September 22nd, 23rd, or 24th. On any other day of the year, the Earth’s axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes (in the spring and in the fall), the Earth’s axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun. Thus creating the illusion of equal day and night.
The pagan holiday Mabon is assumed to have originated in the Celtic lands. But some argue it is highly influenced by Norse traditions. Sadly there isn’t enough documentation from the early pagan eras to be positive where it began or how exactly it was practiced in ancient times. To the Celts, Avalon is home to the dead and literally means the “land of apples”. Thus this is a holiday for celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the desire for the living to be reunited with their deceased loved ones.
The holiday is also named for the Welsh God Mabon. The name translates to the “great son”, but some say it’s the “great sun” and relates to the waning reign of the Sun in the sky as summer fades and the season changes to beacon the darkness of fall and winter.
For pagans, the festival begins at sunset on the eve before the Equinox. For 2013 that would be September 21st. You can read more about the History of Mabon and how it’s celebrated here on Springwolf Reflections.
Everyone here wishes you and yours a happy, safe and festive Mabon Feast!
~ Springwolf 🐾
© 2013 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.