As I’ve grown deeper in acknowledging/honoring the Sabbats, I began to wonder when everyone celebrates their new year. Previously I celebrated with the majority of the world on January 1st. But the more I’ve been reading, the more I am leaning toward recognizing it on Samhain.
So, out of curiosity, when do you celebrate the new year?
- January 1st
I am still very new and plan to celebrate my own New Year on Samhain, while celebrating along with my family January 1.
I generally honor Samhain as the beginning of my personal year and January 1st as the beginning of the calendar year. It varies so often that I just celebrate them both
Both, really. Why not celebrate it twice? More fun that way. LOL!
Hi Amaris_Bane. I never thought to celebrate/acknowledge the New Year on a different time or date other than January 1st. Now you have me thinking…
Amethyst Yes, I like that idea!
I do a big self-examination, vision board and word of the year, etc. the last week of December and celebrate the New Year on January 1. But I also take stock in the spring and the fall. Spring feels like a time of renewal and I feel more extroverted and ready to try new things. Fall into winter has me definitely withdrawing and focusing on inner growth, gratitude and creativity.
@Amethyst and @MeganB, I like y’all’s ideas to celebrate both!
@mary25 this is similar to what I’ve done in the past, before I converted to paganism/witchcraft. I like the idea of taking stock with the change of the seasons.
I’m agree with @Amethyst and @MeganB
For me as a witch, my year will begin on Samhain, bur for tradition and but by tradition and to celebrate it with the family I’ll keep the January 1st too.
This is such a great question to ask and I am devouring the answers, as I have a really tough time drawing a line where I feel the old year ends and the new year begins!
Samhain feels to me like the death of the season, which makes a good point for the next stage. It’s also the traditional Witches’ New Year.
Yule marks the switch when the days begin to get longer and light is returning, so that could work as the starting point to the new year.
January 1st is the start of the Gregorian Calendar and most of society’s new year, so I’ll probably always celebrate that, but seasonally it doesn’t feel like a point where a new cycle begins, if you know what I mean?
Ostara is the first official day of Spring, marking the beginning of the new season, but by the time Ostara arrives, things are already starting to bloom, so it feels a bit late…
Imbolc is the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox- it is right when winter is starting to loosen its grip but spring has only just begun to take root.
If I had to choose one holiday as my personal point where the cycle resets, I would probably choose Imbolc. That being said, many of the points on the Wheel of the Year could make a solid claim for why they should be the New Year imo. I guess that’s why it’s a cycle- it’s hard to tell where a circle starts and stops!
(I’ll stop rambling now lol. Thanks to @Amaris_Bane for such a thought-provoking question and fun poll! )
How do you define a new year?
How do you celebrate a new year?
These are both very thought-provoking questions, @crystal5!
For the first one- is it the seasons? When others celebrate? Something else? I think finding the answer is the key to finding when you feel the new year begins- which, as we can see from the poll and everyone’s answers, can differ pretty significantly from one witch to another!
Hahaha I think this one also depends on the witch in question- when they choose to celebrate, whether or not they work spellwork, who they are celebrating with, etc.
I personally like to do or incorporate some way of saying goodbye or letting go of the past year. It helps me to feel like something truly is ending, so that something new can begin. It’s a curious mix of goodbye and hello that is bittersweet (except in the case that a year was really awful, in which case it feels great to put an end to it and start fresh )
To all those celebrating the Witch’s New Year this weekend/early next weekend- wishing you a very blessed time!
@TheTravelWitch_Bry I have never looked at each sabbat as an end/start of various things. I like that idea!
@crystal5 These are great questions! Before becoming pagan, my new year was just when the Gregorian calendar starts over on January 1st. Now that I have learned more about the cycles of nature, I celebrate Samhain as the new year. I chose this sabbat for a couple of reasons.
- It is the end of the Celtic year, hence The Witch’s New Year.
- It is where we honor our ancestors from which we came. As I work with Hades and Hel, both death deities, celebrating my ancestors, and death in general, is a big part of my practice.
- It is believed that the God, as The Horned One, dies at Samhain so that we may survive through the winter. He will be reborn at Yule, the winter solstice, and bring the promise of light with his birth.
- I love Halloween, lol!
Ultimately, it is up to each person to decide how they want to define the start of their new year.
For celebrations this will depend on when you choose to celebrate. Since I celebrate Samhain, it means pumpkin carving, bonfires, and hosting a fest with my friends. I also have a ritual planned for this year that I am excited about. I also spend time conversing with spirits and wishing my ancestors well in the Underworld.
I will likely celebrate with my friends on NYE/NYD as well. Which means fireworks and giving my dogs copious amounts of CBD to keep them calm.
Well, I thought I had this question answered but, now I am thinking I might change it. I Worship Goddess Hekate and her New Year is November 16th.
"Hekate’s Deipnon takes place during the dark phase of the moon: the end of the lunar month (any time before the sliver of the new moon has been sighted). Hekate, according to the Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, means “bringer or giver of light” (‘Ekate phosphoros* ). At the darkest part of the month, we prepare our homes for the transition to a new month. Hekate’s Deipnon is a time of purification of self, home, and affairs. There are differing theories as to if Hekate’s Deipnon is solely a meal offered to Hekate, or if there is a secondary intent of the meal offering going to the less fortunate.*"
If I would change my New Year:
hile Halloween seems to have developed mostly from Christian feasts of the dead in the Middle Ages including All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day, the Oct. 31 holiday is also believed to have partially evolved from the ancient pagan festival Samhain, which is the Gaelic word meaning the “end of summer.”* (Enerio, 10/31/22)
Is Halloween A Pagan Holiday? Samhain Origin, Rituals, Traditions Revealed (ibtimes.com)
A Vision Board. I forgot all about that. I appreciate this post as a reminder of how helpful the VB is. Mote It Be
Please prepare for a sharp left turn
I don’t really celebrate the New Year, at the end of December or at Samhain, or any other time. New Year’s Eve is an excuse to drink. I’m old enough that if I want a drink I don’t need an excuse. I have never really enjoyed New Year’s Eve.
On Jan 1, I change what year I write at the end of the date. But spiritually I prefer to think of time as an endless spiral. This Samhain is different from the last one, but rather than being separate they are connected in time.
I’m there with you. I don’t drink much to start. I also hate any holiday that involves fireworks as my animals have always been terrified by them.
I love this train of thought! As I’ve gotten older, it seems to me that time has blurred, one season into the next, one year into the next, without any real demarcation other than what the calendar says. I’m going to ponder on this idea of an endless spiral. Thank you for sharing!
I voted other because I celebrate the new year on Samhain and January 1. They’re both a new year to me, just a different kind of new year.