Cross-Quarter Days

Cross-Quarter Days

February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1
The cross-quarter days are the four traditional Celtic festivals celebrated by Neopagans. Along with the Quarter Days, they make up the "Wheel of the Year." These holidays "cross" the quarter days (the solstices and the equinoxes) by falling about halfway in between, thus dividing the year into four parts of approximately three months each. They are also known as Imbolc (February 1), Beltane (May 1), Lammas (August 1), and Samhain (November 1). These Gregorian calendar dates are less than exact, however; February 6, May 6, August 6, and November 6 actually fall closer to the halfway point between the equinoxes and solstices. ( See also Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice)
SOURCES:
CelebSols-1993, p. 11
RelHolCal-2004, p. 269
(c)
References in periodicals archive ?
Linda, Cheeseburn's first writer-in-residence, visited at significant moments during a single year - on solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days (those falling between Candlemass, May Day, Lammas and All Hallows).
Note that there is a yearly range of the cross-quarter days because of Leap Year, changes in the calendar that occurred by government or church fiat, and the addition of five days of feasting that updated the calendar from 360 to 365 (plus one).
Cross-quarter days - the four days of the year that fall on the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes - pass unmarked on the modern calendar, except for such second-tier observances as Groundhog Day and Halloween.
By the Celtic way of reckoning, the early February cross-quarter day, Imbolc, marks the beginning of spring.
With Samhain we reach the fourth and last of the Cross-quarter Days.
Cross-quarter days, those that occur halfway through the seasons, have all been the occasion for holidays.
Cross-quarter days aren't widely celebrated in this part of the world, surviving mainly as such minor observances as Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day falls on or about the first cross-quarter day, the point midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Although it is not celebrated today, the first of the month brings Lammas, one of the four Cross-quarter Days in Britain's traditional calendar.
We have already rambled through two of the old Cross-quarter Days this year, Candlemas in February and May Day three months later.
All together the four dates became the Cross-quarter Days in the traditional British calendar.