So, American thanksgiving is happening just next week – and I find myself asking…can you celebrate Mabon around Thanksgiving instead?
Traditionally, Mabon is a harvest festival that celebrates reaping rewards, recognizing how far you’ve come, and a transition to a slower time of year – thus, it also focuses on protection and preparation. It is celebrated at the Autumnal equinox often with cleaning, feasting, and protection rituals.
But I rarely personally celebrate Mabon. I am usually much more inclined to celebrate Lughnasah (I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate bread?) as the beginning of Autumn, and Samhain as the peak of Autumn and the witch’s new year.
So what if we celebrated it around Thanksgiving instead?
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is a holiday often skipped over by much of America. To many, Christmas season starts right at Midnight on November 1st – retail stores turn on their christmas music, and marketers are preparing for Black Friday.
Which, side note - Shelby of Shellbizzle on Youtube made an excellent point: isn’t it funny that the one American holiday focused on gratitude for what we currently have is the one skipped over, as well as the one paired with a mass consumerist holiday the day after?
Thanksgiving at its roots is supposed to celebrate coming together of different peoples, gratitude for the harvest, celebrating homecoming for military peoples, peace, and safety for family and homes. And it’s a day of feasts.
In essence…Mabon and thanksgiving are similar holidays.
To me, around November is where we see the end of Daylight savings time, and the beginning of cooler temperatures – up in Maryland, at least. My friends in Utah and Idaho often expierence their first snows in November. It is where we truly start to feel the transition from fall to winter.
It is often said by practitioners and by Temperance Alden in “Year of the Witch” that you can adjust sabbats and holidays to your natural environment, and when you truly start to see the effects of seasonal changes.
So, in that sense, you definitely could celebrate Mabon at Thanksgiving.
Additionally, for closeted witches or for those where it isn’t..quite...understood by family and friends, mixing Mabon tradition with Thanksgiving could be an easy way to practice themes of Mabon without being suspicious to family. As someone who often feels like I’m celebrating alone, working with these themes of protection and gratitude at a time others are also doing the same might actually make me feel more part of a community – even if while at the table my loved ones are thanking their God for the food on their plates, I can close my eyes and thank the universe, nature, etc.
I feel through this short little blog post I’ve convinced myself to give it a go this year and see how I feel.