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Pagan Feast Dates?

What are the different Ancient Pagan holidays and who celebrated them?

For example:
Samhain - Celtic (Ireland) - sunset 10/31 thru sunset 11/1
Saturnalia - Ancient Rome - Dec 17 - Dec 23

Are these correct? These dates are, of course, according to our current Gregorian calendar, and I know the Ancient Pagans would not have even went by the Julian calendar, so I assume they celebrated according to the moon, right? But to make is less confusing for me, I'll use our current Gregorian calendar. =)


Asked by flatlanderjenn at 9:52 PM on Nov. 3, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (4,354 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • It depends on which type of "Pagan" you are... Most self proclaimed Pagans in the US follow the Wiccan Calendar (and of course Wiccan's do as well), however not all do. And then there are those who follow different Pagan paths such as Asrtru which has their own celebrations...
    Here is the Wiccan/Pagan Sabbat Dates, sabbats start at Dusk on the date given and continue til dusk the following night...

    Samhain - Oct. 31
    Yule - Dec 21
    Imbolc - Feb 2
    Ostara - March 20
    Beltane - May 1
    Litha - June 21
    Lammas - Aug 1
    Mabon - Sept. 23

    Now, these dates do and will vary from year to year because they rely on the movement of the sun in relation to the earth.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:49 PM on Nov. 3, 2010


    This site gives the holidays and feast days for Kemet. :)

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 1:06 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Heathens have 4 main holidays, which is when the major sumbels fall - Sumarblot at midsummer, Winternights on/around the first full moon between mid-September and mid-October, 12 days of Yule ending on Mother's Night (lunar based, so this rarely coincides with the dates used by Wiccans or Christians, but most people still use the 25th for Santa so their kids don't get confused), and Thor's Blot in January (midwinter). You typically have a blot every full moon, and you're free to have one whenever you like aside from that, too. Some people add sumbels through the year for less important days to honor gods that are important to them, or for things like weddings, births, etc. There's also Trothmoot in the US, which is the national gathering hosted by The Troth each summer (next year in June).

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:48 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Sabrina is right about the Sabbats. Some covens/groups/groves/circles/etc. also celebrate the Esbats, the Phases of the Moon. This sometimes replaces the weekly church services they were raised attending.

    My Circle and I, we consider ourselves to be "Urban Witches".  We celebrate when we celebrate. 


    Answer by MamaK88 at 2:32 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • A new question popped into my head: When does the Pagan year (liturgical?) begin/end? Like the calendar year begins January 1st, but sometimes a companies fiscal year begins on July 1st, and the school year begins in late August. Do Pagans have a different beginning of the year (although we all go by the normal calendar)?

    Comment by flatlanderjenn (original poster) at 10:29 AM on Nov. 5, 2010


    My goodness!!! These people like the PARTY! Almost every day has a festival/celebration! =)

    You wrote Kemet, but the website says Egypt. Is that the same? Is Egyptian paganism referred to as Kemet? It looks like Alexandria was a cultural melting pot, like the US is today, huh? Greco-Egyptian?

    Comment by flatlanderjenn (original poster) at 10:33 AM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • Due to a lot of concerns that Christian feast dates were established to replace pagan feast dates to encourage conversion, I've been doing some reading on the history of Catholic Holy Days during my spare time (LOL - yeah right - what is 'spare time'?).

    All Souls Day had been celebrated by Catholics for centuries on different dates, but it wasn't until Pope Gregory III moved it to November 1st in 741AD in Germany.  But German pagans didn't celebreate Samhain, the Irish pagans did, right?



    Comment by flatlanderjenn (original poster) at 10:48 AM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • But German pagans didn't celebreate Samhain, the Irish pagans did, right?

    It doesn't work that way, you can't just divide people into this kind of pagan or that kind of pagan geographically. Under the umbrella of Germanic Heathenry is Norse Heathen, Germanic Heathen, and Theodic, which is specific to the British Isles, but uses the same pantheon. The Isles are also home to the Celtic pantheon, which has nothing to do with the AEsir. Between the two are Anglo-Saxons who also had their own beliefs. Because people were transient, by 741 you had Anglos and Celts living in "Germany" which resembles nothing like what you think of when you hear the name Germany today. In the midst of all that, it was smack in the middle of Rome running around killing anyone and everything that wouldn't convert all across Europe. He may have been physically in 8th century Germany, but it had nothing to do with the people of Germany.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:53 AM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • by 741 you had Anglos and Celts living in "Germany" which resembles nothing like what you think of when you hear the name Germany today

    That makes sense.  Countries have gone through multiple changes throughout history, physical boundaries being one of them.  I understand Celtic pagans may have very well been living in Germany when Pope Gregory III changed All Saints Day to Nov 1, but did Germany include the island of Ireland during that year (or ever)? 

    Prior to Gregory III (and after), All Saints Day was celebrated on April 20th in Ireland.  If Catholics have been in Ireland for Centuries, and if Catholics across the known world wished to replace "pagan" dates w/ "Catholic" dates, why didn't the Pope make All Saints Day made Nov 1st in Ireland?  Why did he continue to allow it to be celebrated on Apr 20?


    Comment by flatlanderjenn (original poster) at 8:34 PM on Nov. 6, 2010