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What are some popular pagan holidays?

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Quick Answer

Some popular pagan holidays are Samhain on October 31; Yule, the winter solstice; and Ostara, the spring equinox. Pagan holidays are based on the major solar and lunar events of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

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Samhain marks the Celtic new year and is believed to be a time when the veil between the spirit world and the material world is most thin. Because of this, Wiccans believe this is a good time to contact the dead and honor their ancestors. Practitioners celebrate Samhain by saying prayers, conducting rituals to mark the end of the harvest and performing rites to honor animals or the dead.

Yule is celebrated on the winter solstice, December 21, and is the festival of the Sun. The most important part of Yule tradition is light, such as bonfires or candles. It marks the shortest day of the year and is a time for feasting, drinking and, for some, sacrifice.

Ostara marks the vernal equinox on March 21. For early pagans, it was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Modern pagans start seedlings, prepare soil and view the holiday as a time of renewal and rebirth. They celebrate new life by observing nature, such as sprouting plants, budding flowers and trees beginning to leaf.

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