Because one tenet of Neopaganism is that all of nature is cyclical, the passing of time is also seen as a cycle, a wheel which turns and turns. The course of birth, life, decline, and death that we see in our human lives is echoed in the seasons. The eight Sabbats are religious holidays that celebrate the passing of the year.
Each Sabbat also symbolizes a time in the life of the God, who is born from the Goddess, grows to full manhood, mates with her, and reigns as king during the summer. He then declines and dies, rising anew the next year.
- Yule (Winter solstice)
- Ostara (Spring equinox)
- Beltane (or Beltaine)
- Lammas (Summer solstice)
- Mabon (Autumn equinox)
There are similarities between many Christian holidays and the Sabbats that predated them. It was not at all uncommon for Christian missionaries and priests to adapt local Pagan practices for Christian use.