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Every day's a holiday when you're Pagan!

And here are just some of the Pagan religious holidays
celebrated today and/or in antiquity.

This list of Pagan holy days was compiled by Christa Landon 
from various sources, including the URLs at the bottom of this page.

Because of calendar corrections through the ages,
variances among local communities in ancient times,
and disagreements among scholars,
the following dates represents an approximation.
Alternative dates are welcomed.

We are also interested in additional sources,  especially for
Celtic, Heathen, Norse, Romuva, and Middle Eastern
Pagan holidays.

Worship today on the planet of your choice!

Pagan Holidays Celebrated in

January, 2010

Janus

Janus, Roman coin.



The oldest Roman calendar began the year in March. In the Julian calendar, January is named for the Roman God Janus, who oversaw beginnings and endings, and so the year began in January, as it has ever since.
January 1 Roman: Fortuna

Roman: Agonalia

Feast of Juno and Janus, God of beginnings and thresholds.  On this day, no evil may be spoken, so that the day and the year may be sweet. "Words have weight, and the ears of the Deities are open." (Ovid, Fasti). Friends exchange small jars of honey with dates or figs, along with good wishes. These were called Strenae, after the Sabine Goddess of Health. This custom has continued in France to this day. 

In medieval times, people wore animal masks on this day; this was called "guising."

Greek: Gamelia, Feast of the Goddess of Marriage, Hera (corresponding to the Roman Juno).

Anglo-Saxon: Wassail "Be Hale (whole)"

Roman: Feast of Aesculapius (Healing God), his mother Coronis, and his daughter Salus (Health).

Sumerian: Inanna's Nativity feast is begun by lighting a white candle at sunset. It is to burn through the night and is extinguished at dawn.
January 2 Sumerian: Birth of Inanna, Goddess of Earth and Queen of Heaven.

Egyptian: The advent of Isis, recovering the ark in which Osiris had been carried to Phoenicia.
January 2 Pueblo Indians: Deer Dance for fertility. 

Roman: Compitalia.  Honor the crossroads and boundaries, by leaving an offering of garlic. Make a wooden doll for each member of the family to put up at the family altar.  The Romans held block parties with potlucks.
January 3  
January 4  
January 5 At sunset, nocturnal rites celebrating the epiphany of Kore (Persephone) begin. The mystai (initiates) sang all night to flute music. At the Koreion in Alexandria, these included a drama of Her descent and return.
January 6 XIIth Night

Celtic: Feast of the Triple Goddess the Morrigan (Ana Badb, and Macha)

Roman: Sirona, river Goddess
January 7 Egyptian: Feast of the Decrees of Sekhmet, Goddess of Justice and Law.

Saxon England: Distaff day, in honor of Frigg; women resume spinning after Yule. The Distaff was a staff from which flax is drawn when spinning with a drop spindle.

Japanese: feast of Sun Goddess Amaterasu.
January 8 Roman: Feast of Justitia, Goddess of Justice.

Greece and Macedonia: Midwife's day, dedicated to the Goddess Babo.
January 9 Egyptian: Dirge of Isis and Nephthys for the soul of Osiris.
January 10 Roman: Feast of Securitas, also invoked after close calls.
January 11 Roman: Carmentalia, honoring the Carmenta Goddess of childbirth and happy prophesy and the Carmenae (Muses), worshipped primarily by Roman matrons. Animal skins, leather, and any other sign of death was forbidden in her temple.

Roman: Joturnalia, feast of the prophetic Goddess of fountains, Spirit of Living Waters, patroness of water workers.
January 12 Roman: Compitalia -- honoring Mania and the Lares, household Gods. Mania was known as the Mother of Ghosts. People hung woolen effigies of men and women and hung them at the doors as an offering to her, lest she take a family member.

Hindu: Besant Panchami, a festival of Sarasvati, Goddess of Wisdom and art.
January 13 Norse: Midvintersblot in honor of Tiu (roughly corresponding to Mars).
Norse: First Monday after Epiphany/12th Night dedicated to the Goddess Freya
January 14  
January 15 Roman: Feast of the Ass, who saved the Goddess Vesta, Goddess of the sacred hearthfire.
January 16 Concordia, Goddess working for harmonious relationships. Pray for Peace, and practice it.

Hindu: feast of Jaganath, God of Success who appears as an elephant child.
January 17 Roman: Felicitas, Goddess of happiness and good luck. Greet friends with this blessing: "Ave, Felicitas, Pax et Concordia!" [Hail the Goddesses of Happiness, Peace and Harmony!]
January 18 Hindu: Surya, Sun God/dess who give health and good fortune.
January 19  
January 20 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

At sunset begins a traditional day for divination by fire, particularly about love.
January 21
January 22 Greek: Apollo, God of prophecy, healing, and art
January 23
 
January 24 Roman: Ceres and Tellus (Mother Earth). The Sementivaea, a feast for sowing the seed, prosperity and peace begins at Sunset. 
January 25 Old Norse: Disting, feast of the Disir, Norse guardian Goddesses. Continued in Scotland under the name "Burns' Night" revels.
January 26 Roman: Roman: Ceres and Tellus. The Paganalia, a feast for sowing the seed, prosperity and peace ends at sunset. 

Bolivia: festival of Ekeko, God of Abundance
January 27 Rome: Sementivae Feria, seedtime holiday dedicated to Ceres, Goddess of the Grain.
January 28  
January 29 Roman: Peace festival honoring the birth of Pax (Greek: Irene).
January 30 Roman: Dedication of the Altar of Peace in the reign of Augustus, who ended a generation of civil war. (See ~Benediction section of this ezene.)

Santeria: Senhora Do Bonfim, Our Lady of Happy Endings, a water purification ceremony.
January 31 Celtic: February Eve, begins the festival of Brigantia (Imbolc). Also called Imbolg, Candlemas, or Brigid. Ewes come into milk, pregnancies are advanced, births of many animals are immanent. Sap begins to rise. Many hibernating animals begin to stir. The season of quiescent Winter is half over. 

An effigy of the Goddess, made of grain and sometimes a brook and dressed in white women's clothing, carried from house to house. Gifts of butter were given to friends. Pieces of cake or bread and butter were left as offerings around the home and farm. At night it was laid in a basket with a wooden club beside it (Brigid's Bed)

Norse: Feast of the Valkyries and the Norns (Fates)

Graeco-Roman: Hecate, Goddess of Refugees and women in distress. Make an offering "Hecate's Supper" where a side path joins a main road.

Scotland: Up Helly Aa, a Norse-derived fire festival beseeching the return of the Sun and celebrating abundance and friendliness.
 

Pagan  Holidays  Celebrated in
February
 

 


February is named for Februum, the Roman tradition of purifying the temples. This is the time for cleaning, polishing and repairing ritual tools, statues, and other religious art. (See Feb. 5  and 15 entries.)

The dreams of Yuletide now face the first test:  will you prepare the way for them to come into the world?  Are you ready to feed your dreams and protect them? Or will they die aborning?February is Ethnic Equality Month: This is a time to honor the beauty and wisdom carried in all ethnicities, particularly the often mis-represented and underrepresented traditional communities of Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and the First Nations (Amerindians). 

For more on classical holidays in February, see http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/MidWinter.htmlDuring this time, prior to the beginning of planting, farmers purify their fields of last year's remaining weeds, pick rocks, mend fences, prune, and attend to the foaling, calving, and lambing.  

February 1-2 Celtic: Imbolc (in the belly), Oimele (Ewe's Milk), also spelled Oimelc, I or Imbulc. This feast begins the season for preparing for new births, blessing midwives and pregnant women, blessing seeds and fields, blessing candles.  The new agricultural year begins in warmer climes with picking stones heaved by winter frosts, pruning, removing brush from fields, a collecting maple syrup. Also in warmer climes, ewes come into milk and bear lambs, migrating birds return, hibernation ends, first shoots from perennial greens provide the early salads, and the first plowing may take place.  In Minnesota, we plan gardens and start ordering seeds.

Old Egyptian:  Feast of Isis, the Healer. Recalls how when Set (God of Chaos) poisoned her child Horus, the Goddess Isis intervened, defeating Set, and healing Horus.
February
1-3
Mid-Winter/Groundhog's Day -- Festival marking the transformation from death to life - the beginning of the agricultural year, awakening of hibernating animals, and return of migrating birds and fish. Observed with a candlelight procession to bless fields and seeds, recognition of newborns, and contemplation of life. Celebrated from sunset Jan. 31 to sunset Feb. 3.

Greek: Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries, a preparation for initiation. Most important Greek holy day celebrating the descent of Persephone into the Underworld and the unity of all mystes, those who are adopted children of the Goddess Demeter. Publicly celebrated continuously at one site in Eleusis for over 2000 years.
February
1-14
Greek: festival Dionysos, in which vines were pruned and sprinkled with wine, accompanied by ritual singing and dancing. [a/k/a Trifon Zarezan, Viticulturists' Day, still celebrated in Bulgaria.]
February   2 Roman: Juno Februa, Goddess of marriage. Girls decorated their pillows with 5 bay leaves to dream of their husbands. Candles were lit in honor of Februa to scare away evil spirits.

Roman: Ceres and Proserpina (identified with Demeter and Persephone) -- see Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries Feb. 1-3.

Roman Britain: Feast of Sul-Minerva, goddess of knowledge and healing, whose sanctuary featured an  ashless fire.Yoruba/Santeria feast of Oya, Orisha of death and rebirth, daughter of Yemaya and Orungan. Yorubas/Santeros worship the One Deity Olodumare and the Orishas (Olodumare's emanations and messengers). In Mexico, Oya is represented as Our Lady of Candelaria, who appears crowned, standing on a crescent moon, flanked by two cherubs.Norse: Barri

Catholic: Candlemas, feast of the purification of the Blessed Virgin from the "pollution" of childbirth. Following the Jewish custom, as a poor woman she sacrificed two doves to be rendered pure and permitted to be touched by her husband.  Candles are blessed. This holiday was appropriated from the Roman feast of Juno-Februa. (above).

Japan: Setsubun, in honor of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, people throw beans and light lanterns.

February  
2-14
Roman: Sacred to Juno Februra, mother of Mars and goddess of the passion of love
February   3  
February   5 Roman: Fortuna
Greek: Tyche
Anglo-Saxon: Wyrd
These deities are commonly identified with each other. A traditional date for divination

Roman: Februus, God of purification, was honored with a ritual purification.  A sweeping compound of meal and salt (mola salsa) was spread throughout the house, including behind the furniture,  and swept out with a pine branch, cleaning the home of evil spirits.

Egyptian: Feast of Old Egyptian Goddess Isis, the Healer--recalls Set (God of Challenges and Chaos) poisoning child God Horus, and Isis intervening, defeating Set, and healing Horus. 
February  
5-13
Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony is celebrated with tobacco offerings, confession of offenses, singing, drumming, dancing, name-giving, and dream-telling. By doing this, the Iroquois, which considered themselves kin to all nature, for continuation of all life-sustaining things.
February   6 Greek: Feast of Aphrodite, Goddess of sexual love.

Unitarian Universalist:
Joseph Priestley (1804), British scientist and freethinker, a Unitarian, whose house was burned down because of his radical notions. After escaping, he fled to America. [Birthday 3/13/1733] [U.U./Unitarian]
February   7 Greek: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana / Slavic Diwitsa) - midwife of women and animals,  protector of the young, punisher of child abusers, guardian of the woods. Celebrated beginning sunset 2/6 to sunset 2/7 eve.

Greek: Feast of Selene, a Moon Goddess, patroness of longing lovers.

February   8
February   9 Greek: Feast of Apollo, God of Daylight, reason and prophesy, healing, music, and all the fine arts.

Roman: Feast of Apollo.

February  10  
February  11 Catholic: First appearance of "The White Lady" to Bernadette at Lourdes, France. The site was long sacred to Persephone/Proserpina in Roman Gaul.
February  12 Roman: Feast of Diana, Virgin Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt.

UU: Birthday of Charles Darwin (1809), Unitarian biologist and evolutionary.
February 
12-14
Greek: Anthesteria, festival honoring Dionysos as Plouton, God of the dead, and welcoming the visiting dead from Elysium. [The new wine was presented to Dionysos, and libations were made.] Celebrated from sunset 2/12  to sunset 2/15 eve. 
February  13 Roman: Feralia, Old Roman festival dedicated to Faunus-Fauna, God/dess of wild animals, celebrating all kinds of love, and especially fertility. Faunus (from Latin favere, the Kindly One) was oracular. A seeker would come to his sacred grove, ask the question, and then listen to the night noises, interpreting them himself.
February 
13-21
Roman: Parentalia, a privately celebrated feast of the ancestral dead (manes), begun with a Vestal Virgin pouring a libation in their honor. During the Parentalia, all temples were closed, marriages were banned, no offering fires were lit. Loving reverence for deceased ancestors might be rewarded with an appearance of the dii manes (Latin, the immortal good ancestors, children of Mania.) From the Ides of Februarius (13th) until the Feralia (21st), Romans reserved a time to honor the manes, or spirits of the ancestors; whole temples were closed, magistrates didn't wear their togas of office, and no marriages were performed. 
February  14 Roman: Juno Februata (Juno the Fructifier)

Norse: Feast of Vali, the archer and son of Odin, as well as the God of friendship, absorbed by the Christian church as the feast of St. Valentine. 

Scandinavia: a traditional date for running labyrinths.
February 
14-21
Roman: Lupercalia, one of the oldest festivals of Roman religion, in honor of Juno-Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus. Two youths are swabbed on the forehead with wool dipped in milk.

This was a festival of love. One feature was a lottery in which tokens (original valentine) with the names of single women were drawn by young men.  The couples were companions for the week's festivities. 
February  15 Roman: Februum, a purification ceremony. The statues of the Gods were removed from temples for cleaning.

Roman:  The Februum was merged with worship of Faunus, God of flocks and agriculture generally identified as a less violent Pan; Faunus was also an oracle. During the Lupercalia, the luperci priests sacrifice goats and a dog, as well as sacred cakes; then a noble youth dressed in the bloody goat's skin raced through the city with a scourge made of strips of the goats' skin, chasing the women who sought to become fertile.  Revelry ensued.

Teutonic: Holiday honoring the hero Sigfrid.

UU: Birthday of Galileo (1564), astronomer; day to mourn the persecution of scientists by religious authorities.Chinese: Celebration of Chinese New Year ends with the feast of Kwan Yin, a virgin Goddess of compassionate resistance.

Unitarian Universalist: 
a great non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. (2/15/1820-3/13/1906)

February  16 Roman: Feast of the Goddess of Victory, Diana Lucifera (the Lightbearing Goddess, waning moon and sister of the morning star in Etruscan religion.)
February 
16-24
Navajo:  Festival in honor of Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman in which fields are blessed in preparation for planting. Navajos believe  she wields the power to constantly create and change the world. 
February  17 Roman: Fornacalia, a festival of bread ovens, and the oven Goddess Fornax. A sacred time for tending young plants; start earliest plantings under glass today if you have strong light.

Roman: Feast of Fools.

Guatemala: Quetzalcoatl, called under Spanish rule "The Black Christ."

February  18 Persian: Spenta Armaiti, feast of women, honoring fertility Goddess Spandarmat, identified with the Earth and one of the seven undying and well-doing powers. Pray for the liberation of oppressed women in Iran. 
February 
18-21
Roman: Tacita, also called Dea Muta, Goddess of silence, Mother of the Lares. She binds hostile and malicious speech.  Avoid unfriendly speech and hostile tongues.
February  19 Greek: Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries--Old Greek festival celebrating the marriage of Goddess Kore and God Dionysos, following their return from Elysium.
Celebrated from sunset 2/20 - sunset 2/27
February 20  
February 21 Egyptian: Day of Nut (Egyptian Goddess of the starry night sky, whose body is arched over the world for love and whose feet do not crush the little flowers. Nut (also Nuit) makes room for all the stars in the sky; honor her by making room in your heart for someone who needs your respect and caring.
February
21-27
 
February 22 Roman: The Feast of the Goddess Concordia was called the Caristia, or Cara Cognatio (Dear Kindred) the feast of goodwill, celebrated with a shared pot-luck meal (sacra mensa), renewing friendships and family ties and patching up quarrels.

Catholic: Feast of St. Lucia, identified with the Roman Lucia, Goddess of Light. Lucia was depicted as a winged woman bearing a torch.
Egyptian: Day of Nut (Egyptian Goddess of the starry night sky, whose body is arched over the world for love and whose feet do not crush the little flowers. Nut (also Nuit) makes room for all the stars in the sky; honor her by making room in your heart for someone who needs your respect and caring.

Roman: Last day of Parentalia, a day of purification, honoring ancestors with white candles.  Offerings at tombs included flowers or a little wine, bread, perhaps a sprinkling of salt. Parentalia was a celebratory period in which ancestors were honored. It lasted from February 13 through the 21st. The temples were all closed during this period. The last day of this feast is called
February 23 Roman: Terminalia honors Terminus, the rural God of  boundaries and endings, identified with Janus. Land boundaries were set and decorated with garlands and an altar built in silence; grain and honeycomb was sacrificed in fire carried from the family hearth. Feasts were shared by adjacent landowners. Similarly, at the boundary stone in the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, ritual was held of behalf of the People of Rome. This is also a fortuitous time to put an end to any habit that no longer serves you.
February 24 Roman: Regifugium, the Flight of the King. This ritual commemorated the founding of the Republic and the expulsion of the last King of Rome. After the republic was established, nearly 3 millennia ago, a rex sacrorum (King for ritual purposes) filled this role each year, but wasn't actually sacrificed. 

According to legend, in earliest times, the king was annually chased by the senators.  If they caught him, they killed him. This is an example of King sacrifice, a way to renew the nation, and something of a referendum. (Since the senators were the eldest males of their family lines, this usually wasn't a great risk unless they were REALLY motivated.) 
February 25 Egyptian: Mut, purifying Goddess with the wings of a vulture. Associated with vitality, honor, loyalty.
February 26
February 27 Indian: Mira Bai, XVI princess, mystical poet.

Roman: Equirria, a festival dedicated to Mars, god of war and agriculture. Horse racing was a major feature.
February 28 Roman: Amburbium a procession of worshippers encircled the city, chanting and offering prayers and offering sacrifices such as wine or milk.
February 29 Leap Day: corrects the calendar, and gives an extra day to electioneer and register to vote.  Also "Sadie Hawkins Day," when women were permitted to propose marriage to shy beaus. American presidential elections take place on leap years.

Pagan Holidays Celebrated in

March

 

Mars Ultor

Mars Ultor, polychrome by Christa Landon after Roman statue, imperial period.

The word "March" comes from the Roman God Mars, personifying passion and forcefulness and masculine energy and sexuality. According to Proclus (Repub. p. 388), Mars' essential role is to contribute energy, to constantly excite the contrarieties of the universe, and to perpetually discern the sound from the unsound,  and that the world may be complete. But he requires the assistance of Venus, that he may insert order and harmony into things contrary and discordant. Current evolutionary biology notes the same dynamic!

Mars is most commonly identified today as the God of war (Mars Gradivus); but the Roman Mars was more complex than the Greek Ares. He was also MarsPater, Father Mars, and the protector of the Roman People, Quirinus.

As the early Roman Marmor, he was the personification of the shield.  
Even earlier,  Mars Sylvanus (Mavors) was a fertility God, the personification of the spear-like shoots of grain which emerge from the ground after planting. Farmers prayed to Mars, 

"to prevent, ward off and avert diseases, visible and invisible, barrenness and waste, accident and bad water; that You permit the crop and fruit of the earth, the vines and shrubs to wax great and prosper, that you would preserve the shepherds and their flocks in safety and give prosperity and health to me and my household." 
        (Cato, De Agricultura, l. 142, transl. Frances Bernstein.)

In the old Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year.  The doors of the Temple of Mars were ceremonially opened, beginning the period in which warfare might be conducted. 

Identification with the wolf ran deep; the founding twins of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were saved by a she-wolf who suckled them. The sacred animal of Mars is the wolf, cunning and strong, but an animal whose real power comes from cooperation with its own kind.  Warfare in early Rome evolved from cattle-raids and Roman troops were accompanied by wolf-skin clad priests. 

In ancient Rome, March was also sacred to Minerva (from mens, L. mind). Minerva was one of the Roman Trinity (with Juno and Jupiter) and identified as the clever and astute Goddess of the Arts and Crafts. Only in the latter half of Roman history was Minerva identified closely with the Greek warrior Maiden Athena. 

Here in the Northern Midwest, the lengthening days of March bring the first migratory birds (robins, red-wing blackbirds, earliest great blue herons) seeking nesting territories, sap runs and maple syrup can be collected.  Eastern chipmunks emerge mid-month. Gardeners are planning for the new season and ordering seeds, but we must practice Saturnian restraint because only slow-germinating seeds should be planted indoors until the end of the month.

For another  image of Mars and ancient Pagan prayers, visit our Virtual Temple 
March  1
Egyptian: Feast of Ranuit, Lady of Harvests, honored at the beginning of the 3 month long harvest season.

Persian: Spenta Armaiti.

Greek: Artemis, Goddess of the hunt, honored by the consumption of deer-shaped cakes on this date.

Roman: The ancient Roman new year was marked with decorating the Temple of Vesta with fresh Laurel and rekindling the sacred fire of the Temple of Vesta. The Vestal Virgins lit the new fire by using a burning glass or boring a piece of fruitwood.

Roman: First dance of the Salii ("The Leapers," a dancing priesthood of 24 young men whose parents are still living.) The dances honor the fertilizing power of Mars Gravidus and featured the clashing of staffs against figure 8 ceremonial "shields" to scare away evil spirits.
 Norse: Feast of Iduna, Goddess of Spring.

Welsh:  David, Patron Saint of Wales, is honored. His emblematic plants, the leek and daffodil, represent the vigorous growth of springtime and recall the royal colors, green and white, of ancient Britain.

March 2 Celtic:  Ceadda, God of healing springs and holy wells, identified with the Crann Bethadh, tree of life. Clear trash from around springs.

Bulgaria: Mother March. According to tradition, if women work on this day, the Goddess will send storms to destroy instead of to nourish the crops.
March  3 Greek & Roman: Matronalia, the festival of women held on the Kalends, originally the New Moon in March. This date is especially sacred to Hera/Juno Lucina, protectors of women, children and the family. Women dressed up and put flowers in their hair. Slave-owning women waited on the slaves of the household. 

Statues of the Goddess showed Her veiled, with an infant in swaddling clothes in her left hand and a flower in Her right. These were decorated with flowers, and special fires were lit. Girls made offerings to Juno Lucina at this time of year for happy and prosperous marriages. Vestal Virgins hung offerings of their hair on the oldest tree in the sacred grove. Roman husbands gave their wives gifts and prayed for the health of their wives, and everyone gave presents to all the women in their lives.   A public banquet was held at the temple of Juno Lucina.
 

Teutonic: Aegir, God of the Sea.

Japan: Doll Festival.

March  4 Celtic: The Feast of Rhiannon is celebrated on this day by many Wiccans in honor of Rhiannon, the Celtic/Welsh Mother Goddess who was originally known as Rigantona (the Great Queen) and is associated with the mare-Goddess Epona.

Greek: An annual three-day long ritual called the Anthesteria was held on this date to honor the Goddesses Flora and Hecate, as well as the souls of the dead (the Keres).
March  5 Egyptian & Roman: Navigum Isidis (Blessing of the Vessel of Isis). This annual festival of music, dancing, and feasting honored the Egyptian Goddess Isis, Lady of the Moon and Ruler of the Sea, ruler over safe navigation, boats, fishing, and the final journey of life. A boat loaded with offerings to Isis is launched to begin the shipping season. Flowers were floated in rivers and boats blessed with incense on this day in an annual ceremony signifying Isis's opening of the seas to navigation. 
March  6 Roman: Compitalia, feast of Mania and the Lares (ancestral spirits). 
March  7 Roman: Beginning at sunset, the Junoalia, honors of Juno, a festival including a ceremony of Peace, celebrated by women and girls.

March  8

International Women's Day--Day to mourn victims of gender-based oppression and misogyny (past and present), make peace, and celebrate women's empowerment.

The Chinese honor the birthday of the Earth as a Mother Goddess with the annual Mother Earth Day festival. The festival consists of street parades, lighting firecrackers, eating and partying. Coins, Flowers, incense, paper dolls, etc., are placed in small holes in the ground, blessed and then covered with soil as birthday presents.

March  9 Roman: Liberalia, held 2 days after the full moon, is sacred to the wine-God Liber-Pater (Bacchus),and is the date for initiating boys into manhood.
March 10 Greek: Feast of Adonis and Aphrodite. While Aphrodite is a Greek Goddess, this late myth is probably Near-Eastern in origin, and portrays the Goddess's pain in loving a mortal who is gored by a wild sow.

Persia: First Day and Night of the Farvardigan (10 days of the Dead), spent in deeds of charity, religious banquets, and ceremonies honoring the dead.

Babylonian: Ishtar & Tammuz: The Goddess of Love and Her tragically mortal lover.
Syrian Astarte & Adonis:  The Goddess of Love and Her tragically mortal lover. (Astarte was later identified with the Greek Aphrodite.)

March 11 Greek & Roman: Feast of the semi-divine hero Herakles (called Hercules by the Romans)
March 12 Martyrdom of Hypatia, known as the Divine Pagan. She was dean of the Neoplatonic school at Alexandria. A famed philosopher and mathematician, she was murdered by a Christian death squad. A Pagan, Humanist, and Feminist holyday.

Persian: Day of Marduk -  Marduk (called IHVH "Jehovah" by the ancient Hebrews) was the Sun God who defeated the sea goddess Tiamat and took claim to the creation of the world from Her remains. Tiamat was the cause of the Great Flood according to the Babylonians, freeing Marduk from the stigma of being a murderer of innocent men, women, and children. Other religions take the view that Jehovah caused the flood. Marduk was considered the consort of Bell/Belili. Some identify Marduk with the planet Jupiter.
March 13 Anniversary of the death of Susan B. Anthony (1906), non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [UU; birthday 2/15/1820.]

In Luxembourg, a fire festival called the Burgsonndeg is celebrated annually on this day with the lighting of great bonfires to welcome the rebirth of the Sun and coming of spring.

Bali: Purification feast to overcome Yami, God of Death.

March 14 Egyptian: Festival of the ancient Egyptian Reptile and Mother Goddess Uazit, also called Lady of the Night.

Greece: Annual Diasia festival, held to ward off poverty. 

Roman: feast of  of Mamurius, the old Mars. A scapegoat was driven out of the city on this day, symbolic of expelling the old and bringing in the new.

March 15 Phrygian:  Festival of Attis and Cybele, celebrated in the Near East and eventually Rome.

Greek: Noumenia -- festival honoring Moon Goddess Selene and all the Gods and Goddesses.

Greek: Rhea, Earth Goddess and mother of Zeus.

March 16 Roman: Bacchanalia - a Roman festival in honor of the wine god Bacchus - banned in 186 BC. The celebrations tended to get wild and out of hand.

India: Holi, a spring fire festival.

March 17 Greek: Feast of the Goddess Athena - as protector and defender. 

Canaanite: The annual Festival of Astarte honored the Goddess known as Queen of Heaven. Roman: Liberalia, a feast of Liber and his consort Libera. Considered a women's festival of freedom. (Liber was a title of Dionysus/Bacchus, see March 16). Slaves were permitted to speak with freedom.

Eire: St. Patrick's Day -- Christianized Old European festival marking rebirth of the Green Man/Green George (God as Deciduous Vegetation).

March 18 Anna Perenna: A Crone who oversaw the continuity of life from one year to the next. Her boisterous feast involved drinking and belly laughter.

Ireland: Sheelah's Day - ancient festival to honor the fertility Goddess known as Sheela-na-gig.

Greek: Feast of Aphrodite and her son Eros (Cupid) -- a day to honor love and passion.

March 19 Yoruba/Santeria: Feast of Osanyin, Orisha of deciduous vegetation.

Babylonian: The Akitu, an annual Babylonian New Year Festival celebrating the marriage of Heaven and Earth, begins this date and lasts for ten consecutive days.

India: New Year.

March 19-24  
March 20 Spring or Vernal Equinox--Marks the beginning of Spring and point of equal daylight and darkness; celebrates first, annual, and perpetual creation with egg hunts and exchanges. Sun is at a 45 degrees angle. Feast of Nox and Dies (deified Night and Day).  The Spring Equinox is also called the Festival of Trees, Alban Eilir (Celtic), Ostara, (Germanic) and the Rites of Eostre (Norse and Northumberland). This fertility rite celebrates the birth of Spring and the reawakening of life from the Earth. It is the origin of many of the secular traditions surrounding the Christian holiday of Easter.

Greek: Feast of Goddess Artemis (Roman Diana/Slavic Diwitsa) - as protector of wild animals and vegetation.

March 20-21 Old Sumerian & Canaanite-Hebrew festival celebrating the return of Dumuzi/Baal (God of Life and Death) from the Underworld to be with Inanna/Astarte (Goddess of Life) for the verdant part of the year.

Old Anglo-Teutonic festival of Goddess Eostre/Ostara, celebrating the annual rebirth. Her Hare gave gifts of eggs - signifying rebirth.

Norse: Iduna or Idun, Goddess personifying the bright half of the year; she appears in the form of the sparrow and tends the apple tree which bears the fruit of immortality.

March 21 Heliacle New Moon

Egyptian: The annual Spring Harvest Festival was celebrated on this date along the banks of the River Nile, in honor of the Mother-Goddess Isis.

Voudon: Legba Zaou - a ceremony to honor Legba, loa of the sun and guardian of the gate between worlds, with a sacrifice of a black goat. Greek: A lesser festival of Kore and Demeter

Iranian: No-Ruz, Iranian New Year originally dedicated to Astarte and Adonis / Ishtar-Damuzi.

March 22 Greek: Asklepieia -- festival honoring Asklepios, God of healing, and Hygieia, Goddess of health.

In Asia Minor,  and later Rome, pine trees were carried through the streets on this date by devotees of the cult of Attis, and taken to his temple as part of the annual ritual the Procession of the Tree-Bearers, to mourn the God's demise.

March 23 Norse: Festival of the Summer Finding, the ascendancy of light over darkness

Roman: Dance of the Salii - The Gods Mars and Saturn were invoked each year on this date in ancient Rome, by priests dancing while brandishing spears and clashing ritual shields. The evil spirits of Winter were expelled from the city, and the growth of crops stimulated through sympathetic magic. This is one of their oldest recorded rites.

Polish: The Marzenna was an old Polish Spring festival celebrated with singing, dancing, and the sacrifice of straw effigies.

March 23-27 Greek: City Dionysia--Old festival honoring God Dionysos as patron of drama, poetry, music, and inspiration.
March 24 Norse: Heimdal, Aesirian Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge between Asgaard and Earth

British: The day of Albion (or Prytania, or Britannia), was celebrated on this date in Britain. Her image appeared on ancient British coins.

Roman: Bellona's Day, Goddess of Battles.

March 25 Roman: Lady Day, honoring Domina (Our Lady) Cybele. Annual feast of Hilaria was held to celebrate the power of the Goddess Cybele to overcome death. (See March 22, death of Attis.) Also resurrection of Adonis, Tammuz, and Dionysus.

Roman: Mars and His Consort, Neria (whose name means "strong.")Babylon: The Goddess Beltis is honored.

Yoruba/Santeria feast of Oshun, Orisha of love and compassion, passion and fertility.

March 26 Slavic: Mata Syra Zemlja, "Moist Earth Mother." Because She is pregnant, it is considered a sin to strike the Earth with iron (plough) before this date.
March 27 Hindu: The Goddess of marriage and abundance, Gauri/Isani, is honored with an annual women's festival and swinging ritual.

Roman: Last day of the Feast of Cybele, the Heavenly Virgin,  includes a procession and ceremonial washing of the ancient statue in a river. When it is returned to the shrine, it was decorated with flowers.

March 28 Taiwan: Birthday of Kwan Yin, Boddhisatva of Compassion.
March 29 Greek: The birthday of the Goddess Artemis Soteria, honored with a round "full moon cake" decorated with candles.   Also, the Delphinia - a celebration at Delphi in Phocis, where Apollo gave his oracles. This may have been the musical contest that was held annually Phocis and lasted several days, involving several competitions, probably subdivided into musical styles such as hymns and lyric poetry, which were the favorite of Apollo.
March 30 Roman: Concordia, Salus, and Pax: these Goddesses were honored along with Janus, partner of gentle Concordia. Make peace with someone with whom you have been in conflict.

 

March 29-
April 2
Greek: The Greater Dionysia
 
March 31 Italian: The annual Feast of Luna, Goddess of the month,  was celebrated annually at moonrise on this date in ancient Rome.

Roman: End of the Hilaria.

 


Sources
The above list of Pagan holy d
ays was compiled by Christa Landon 
from various sources, including the URLs below.
(Note: In Celtic, Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Arabic traditions,
the day starts at the prior sunset.)



Greek dates above are estimated, and based on the Macedonian calendar. Each city state created its own. Some holidays varied according to the date of the harvest, etc. Many ancient holidays were based on lunar phases, which make perpetual calendars problematic.

http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/2005.htm

calculation methods: http://www.kelsung.com/calendar.htm

http://www.calendarzone.com

The Wheel of the Year Calendar
WHEEL OF THE YEAR dates for these holidays are based on the Macedonian (Lunar) cal
endar
http://www.WheeloftheYear.com

Today in the Roman calendar
http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/aegsa/rome/jun26.htm

http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/aegsa/rome/romec.html


Nova Roma
http://www.novaroma.org/calendar/index.html
http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/MidWinter.html


All You Ever Wanted to Know About Calendars
htt
p://www.12x30.net/all.html


Athenian calendar reconstruction:

http://www.hellenion.org/calendar.pdf
http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/calendars/695.3.Gamelion.html
http://www.winterscapes.com/dionysus/calendar.htm
http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/calendars/695.html
http://www.winterscapes.com/dionysus/calendar.htm

Seasonal Festivals of the Greeks and Romans by Apollonius Sophistes
http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/SF.html

Frances Bernstein, Ph.D., Classical Living: Myths, Gods, Goddesses, Celebrations, and Rites for Every Month of the Year. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000).

Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Juno Covella (Eire: Cesara Publications, 1982).

http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/

Llewellyn's Astrological Calendar


Ovid, Fasti.

Minnesota Weatherguide,
published by the Freshwater Society.

Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days (Rochester, VT.: Destiny Books, 1992).

Diane Stein, The Goddess Book of Days (St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1988).

A Base for Calendar Exploration

http://www.greenheart.com/billh/linked.html


"Holidays by religion" including Pagan holidays.
http://www.earthcalendar.net/
 http://www.12x30.net/hourly.html

Other interfaith calendar sources:

http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/2005.htm
calculation methods. http://www.kelsung.com/calendar.htm
http://www.calendarzone.com

Today in the Roman calendar
http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/aegsa/rome/jun26.htm
http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/aegsa/rome/romec.html

Nova Roma
http://www.novaroma.org/calendar/index.html
http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/MidWinter.html


All You Ever Wanted to Know About Calendars
http://www.12x30.net/all.html

Athenian calendar reconstruction:
http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/calendars/695.3.Gamelion.html
http://www.winterscapes.com/dionysus/calendar.htm
http://www.numachi.com/~ccount/hmepa/calendars/695.html
http://www.winterscapes.com/dionysus/calendar.htm

Seasonal Festivals of the Greeks and Romans by Apollonius Sophistes
http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/SF.html

Frances Bernstein, Ph.D., Classical Living: Myths, Gods, Goddesses, Celebrations, and Rites for Every Month of the Year. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000).

Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Juno Covella (Eire: Cesara Publications, 1982).
http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/

A Base for Calendar Exploration
http://www.greenheart.com/billh/linked.html

"Holidays by religion" including Pagan holidays.
http://www.earthcalendar.net/


August 2007 Pagan calendar

We are interested in additional sources, 
especially for Celtic, Heathen, Norse, Romuva, and Middle Eastern holidays.  
If you can suggest some, please email the
Editor.
Updated January 2, 2010
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