Autumnal Equinox: First Day of Fall

Mabon, the pagan celebration of the autumn equinox is a festival of the harvest. In the Northern Hemisphere, many celebrate it and rituals reflect in modern customs. The first day of fall is the moment in which the night and the day are equal in duration. At the rhythm of the year, Mabon is a time of rest and celebration, after the arduous work of harvesting the crops.

The warm autumn days lead the way to cold nights, as the Old Sun God returns to the arms of the Goddess.

Mabon is a Thanksgiving ritual for the fruits of the earth and the recognition of the need to share them. It ensures the blessing during the winter months. In Celtic mythology, Mabon was a Welsh god of youth, vegetation, and crops. He was a god of hunting, whose cult spread throughout northern Britain. He was a great hunter with an agile horse and a beautiful hunting dog.

During the Autumn Equinox, the power of the Sun balances between light and darkness. It's the second crop time. The Oak King finds itself face to face with what will become the Holly King.

Their power is the same in the sun, yet the future is inevitable. God begins to die after the equinox and takes his new position, taking the crown of Holly King. The Holly King opens his arms to the darkness and allows him to dominate the world.

The autumn equinox is a rich ritual period. Great Sabbah, is a day of thanksgiving for witches. People honor their ancestors, thanking them for what they have handed down. Mabon is a time of mysteries. It is time to honor the old gods and the Spirit. It is a period of equilibrium.

As the time of the last harvest, the last herbs for the kitchen gets collected on this occasion. Tradition is also a walk in the woods looking for acorns, dry leaves to use as a source of fire during the winter.

On the harvest, festivities are symbolic objects such as Wheat Dolls. They get formed from the last harvest and tied with a red thread. The doll gets stored and then burned in Imbolc. After 6 months, the Sun comes again to the plane of the Earth's equator. And the lighting circuit goes through the poles.

In ancient Greece on this day the Lampaforie took place. In late-Hellenistic times the Equinox became the feast of the god Mithra. Mabon is the feast of the equinox, the day that lies halfway between the two solstices. It is a time of balance, when light and dark are the same, and begins the fall.

In Celtic culture, this feast is a time to thank the good harvests and the generosity of the land. This is the second harvest festival where people collect what is sown in the first crop, in August. Nature is preparing for the winter that is approaching. It is a time of rest and recollection. For the Celts, September was Haleg-Monath, the Sacred Month.

Celebrating what nature gives us is inherent in all religions and cultures. A good harvest was synonymous with the survival of that people or tribe during the cold winter. The animals begin to provide supplies in anticipation of the arrival of the cold months. Generally, the hunting period begins. Many migratory species start their long journey southward.

During this period, the fields had a large number of local and regional rites. The common denominator was Thanksgiving and the prayers for the difficult coming season. Moreover, it was time for winemaking, from picking grapes to pressing and until it was in the dark barrels. The process of fermenting grapes took place with procedures accompanied by specific rituals.