Herfest

Autumnal equinox, Alban Elfed

Autumnal equinox, Alban Elfed

The celtic feast Mean Fomhair, also known as Herfest or Alban Elfed, is celebrated in the period of the autumnal equinox. During this period, people give thanks to the Sun, the elves and especially the god of the forest – Green Man. They thank them for an abundant harvest and help with growth and cultivation. As a sign of respect and gratitude, people give gifts in the form of the most beautiful flowers and crops of the best quality on the altar. Other offerings, for example wine, cider, herbs and fertilizer are spilled or scattered on the harvested fields and gardens. The horn of plenty is the ancient symbol of the rich harvest.

This year the autumnal equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere on September 22nd, when day is as long as night. After this day the power of the sun becomes slowly weaker and the following days are markedly shorter and colder. We enter into a new period, a period of rest and sleep. When the winter season comes, we should meet our obligations associated with summer and finish work in the garden to spend a dark and wintery period in calm contemplation. We should share everything that the harvest gave us with people close to us. The basis of this festival is a celebration of the reunion of family and making good interpersonal and family relationships.