Here at Daily Momtra, religion is as diverse as the color of leaves during autumn. The Pagan holiday, Mabon or the Fall Equinox, falls tomorrow on September 21st this year, so as a Pagan mom myself, I wanted to get some information out there about the celebration, especially with children. I talked to Joni Rae, of Tales of a Kitchen Witch, about her own personal celebration of Mabon… which for her, involves special enjoyment of fall harvest cooking!
Here’s what Joni Rae does with her family to celebrate the beginning of autumn…
Joni Rae: I’m a Pagan mom, raising my kids on a Pagan path. Pagans come in as many different flavors as Christians do. But just as Jesus is the focal point of each Christian church, so is veneration for the earth and elements at the core of a variety of Pagan beliefs. There are “high days” throughout the year, commonly referred to as the “Wheel”, which includes three harvest festivals.
The Fall Equinox (also known as Mabon) is our second harvest celebration, a time when we are moving from the lighter, warmer summer days to the dark and chilly nights that wait just around the corner. If you have a garden, this is the time to gather most of the harvest to put up for winter, and a time to be thankful and rejoice in the bounty that the Gods have provided for us. It is kind of like a pagan version of Thanksgiving, and my family goes all out to make it a special day. My husband and I were married on Mabon, nine years ago, so we honor our marriage on that day as well.
Because I identify as a “kitchen witch”, most of our holiday rituals revolve around food. We raid the farmers markets and gardens of our friends and I plan the meal around the goodies we have gathered. Farmer’s markets are a great conversation starter! The kids and I walk through the market, examining stalls and talk about how the vegetables and fruits offered for sale have changed throughout the growing season. We sometimes go for a walk and observe the changes in our environment. The kids gather leaves and flowers, sometimes berries if we find a wild edible berry bush. We watch the birds and the insects, and talk about what signs we can see that mark the turning of the year, and then go home to enjoy a lovely dinner together. Mabon is the “berry harvest” so I usually end up baking a lot of pies.
As pagan parents, we believe it is important to teach our children to learn to be mindful of the world around them. Observing these special days helps us to be aware of the passing seasons and the changes that take place in a modern world where it is no longer important to do so. By doing this, we form a connection to our past, when each High day marked a vital place in the year.
Thanks Joni! As a Pagan myself, our celebration is very similar — we treat it much as Thanksgiving as well, with focus on fall food harvests. I enjoy the tale of Persephone and Demeter, which makes the fall food of pomegranates specific, but the enjoyment of food comes with just about any Pagan celebration! We love to focus especially on the changes in the planet, so gathering colorful or fallen leaves and making wreaths with them, or other kid-friendly projects is high on my list this year. We also take the time to teach our kids about the planet’s tilt, so they can understand why it’s so special that the night of Mabon is unique in that the day and night are equal, before we go into fall and winter with the longer nights and less day. And of course, we’re taking full advantage of berries and pie too!
Do you have any questions for Christie or Joni about celebration of Mabon? We’d love to answer them!
About Joni Rae:
I’m a kitchen witchy aspiring writer and artist. I’ve worn various granola-mom badges proudly: babywearing, clothdiapering, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding to name a few. I’m married to James, often referred to as “the huz” here, who was born in Tulsa, Ok and grew up in England. We have four children, Hannah, Patrick, Willow, and Cooper.