Sabbat is a term for the eight seasonal festivals of the Wiccan year.
The sabbats comprise what Witches/Wiccans call the Wheel of the Year. This wheel is based largely upon the ancient solar rites of pre-Christian European tradition. Because the Old Religion was a fertility cult, in ancient times the traditional rituals of Wicca were designed to incorporate the waxing and waning periods of Nature. These periods are marked by each solstice and equinox and the cross-quarters that fall between each one.
The Sabbats are a combination of solar and earthly celebrations. The daily cycle of the sun and the seasons of the earth determined the rhythms of activity for our ancestors. They lived close to the land and on an everyday basis observed its subtle changes.
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