This year, the feast of Mabon, or, the Autumnal Equinox, falls (no pun intended) on the 22nd of September.
Annual Celtic festivals are a big feature of my book The Elder Throne and, because I’m the kind of person who seizes any excuse to celebrate, here are some ideas for food, fun and frolics for this Wednesday…
WHAT IS MABON?
Mabon – in the Northern Hemisphere anyway – is the official start of Autumn. It is the second harvest festival of three (the first being Lammas, the third being Samhain [Halloween]). At it’s heart, it is a thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition to share them with others over the coming Winter months. This is why, in England and (I’m sure) other parts of Europe, our school Harvest Festivals heavily hinge on food donations to homeless shelters and others less fortunate than ourselves.
MABON FOOD (& DRINK)
If food is involved, I’m there. And with Mabon, food is everywhere. Here are some Mabon-style dishes to whet your appetite for the occasion:
Belly-warming stodge is the order of the day for Mabon, and you can fill your boots with this recipe. (Not literally. That would create a huge mess.)
Make it in a big pot – enough to share! – and afterwards, snooze the evening away.
A note for my fellow Britons: this cider is the American non-alcoholic type, (my blog is kid friendly, so duh), but you can easily substitute the apple juice for something a little stronger if you’re feeling an Autumn wind nipping at your nose.
Tasty, heartwarming and piping hot. Load yours in a flagon and fill your belly with liquid happiness.
Let’s face it, where would the harvest be without all those veggies? This dish combines mushrooms and potatoes (and a whole host of other characters) for a delicious vegetarian option. Leave that cow alone and try this instead.
What’s missing? Of, of course…
Apples are a prominent feature of Mabon, for obvious reasons. I’m not too keen on cinnamon after the Disneyworld Fiasco of 1997, but this cake is a winner. A glorious, delicious winner. Bake up a storm and make your family love you (presumably even more than they do now).
FUN AND FROLICS
I love arts and craft. I realise I’m in my mid-twenties and should have grown out of such things by now, but I like to think it keeps me young and, as a consequence, helps me write better children’s fiction (a woman can dream, can’t she?). I also have a great fondness for quirky home decor, so if you’re looking for something fun to do, or something to spruce up your home that’s a little bit different, try these on for size.
Man alive, am I fond of candles. I’m also fond of anything that keeps my sister’s three sprogs quiet and entertained when they visit, so this is perfect. I sat with my three kidlets for two hours on Saturday, making 8 of these beautiful candle holders. There was not a peep from them as they glued to their hearts’ content and then, at the end of it, we had dinner; beautifully lit by their efforts. A definite recommendation.
If simplistic (and considerably less messy) decoration is more your thing, try the lovely, fragrant Lavender-Wheat hangings. Literally, all you need is wheat, a few springs of lavender and a bit of string or twine. Et voila, lovely feature for your kitchen or… anywhere, really.
And, because the world needs more faeries…
I don’t know about you, but my sister’s three are continuously collecting things from the garden. Put this knack for hoarding to good use, and send them out to collect pinecones.
Then make pine-cone faeries. Because pine-cone faeries.
Don’t forget, Mabon / Harvest Festival season is also the time for sharing and giving, so look out for local food drives (usually from your local schools).
ALSO. Let us not forget that Mabon means the start of Conker Season, so, start gathering your weapons and go do some conquering!