AUTUMN EQUINOX,MABON



The Autumnal Equinox or Mabon , occurs on either, 21st, 22nd or 23rd September.

This is the moment when day is equal to night & balance is created between them.

The full moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon the time of harvesting apples, blackberries, grapes & hops, as the arable crops have now all been gathered & celebrated at Lammas, the first of the harvest festivals. It was also the time when livestock would be slaughtered & preserved to provide enough food for the winter.

Mabon is a celebration of second harvest & preparation for winter, thanksgiving for sunlight & respect for darkness.

By the time of Mabon, the earth is displaying unmistakable signs of the journey to winter – the nights are rapidly drawing in, leaves are beginning to turn autumnal shades & birds are preparing for migration.

This is a time of realization that the Wheel of the Year has again turned.

Mabon is also known as the Feast of Avalon & the festival of the Wine Harvest. Avalon is the mystical burial site of the Celts & literally means the "land of apples" in Celtic lore.

In addition, the festival is also named after the Welsh God Mabon.

Mabon means the "great son".

In Celtic mythology Mabon was the son of Modron the Mother Goddess, kidnapped when three days old by the Lord of the Underworld who wanted to stop his light shining on the Earth.

Mabon escaped & returned the light to the world.

The link to the equinox in the folklore of Mabon is highly evident as this event marks the start of autumn.



DECORATIONS:

This festival is represented by brown, orange, gold & red.
The wonderful colors for those turning leaves.
You can paraffin the leaves & add them to your decorations.
Just dip the leaves in melted paraffin & put them on wax paper to dry.

Make a lovely centerpiece for the table with your children.
An arrangement of autumn leaves, apples & berries is lovely.

Fill a basket with pine cones, colorful dried leaves, wheat, acorns & fallen pine branches & leave it by your door.


Star:

Attach leaves from your yard to a wooden or wire star frame.
Then hang the wreath in a sunny window to get a beautiful translucent look during the day.
You can weave in some clear lights to give it nighttime presence, too.
Use ribbons of gold & yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun & decorate with sprigs of dried yarrow or cinnamon sticks.



Make a witch's broom:

Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel,lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong,
relatively straight branch of your choice.

Make Magic Apple Dolls:

You will need 2 large apples,
2 pencils &
2 dowels about 30 cm long,
a paring knife
Peel & core the apples.
Carve a face in the apples.
Place apples on a dowel & stand them in a jar to dry.
After 2 - 3 weeks, they should look like shrunken heads.
Make them into dolls.
Use wheat, dried herbs or doll's hair for hair.
Dress them in tiny robes.

Make Conker Animals:



FOOD:

Foods of Mabon:


Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates & vegetables such as potatoes, carrots & onions, grains.
Fall fruits, squash, gourds, pumpkins, grains, nut breads, vegetables.

Mabon recognizes the completion of the grain harvest that began during Lammas & it is a time of change & transition,it is also an acknowledgement of & preparation for the winter to come.

This is a time when folk traditionally measured their success by the food & provisions they had managed to harvest to see them through the long winter months.

Mabon is the time of harvesting apples, blackberries, grapes & hops.

The festival is represented by the harvest of corn, along with the other products in your garden that are ready to be harvested.

To celebrate Mabon, corn & corn bread are served, along with cider & sweet potatoes.

Harvest the last of your herbs & other plants that will need to dry for winter use.

At this time food is prepared for storage, jams & pickles are made & fruits are candied & preserved for the coming winter.

Prepare a lovely Mabon meal with your family - the use of seasonal vegetables is perfect, especially from your own garden.

Picking blackberries earlier in the day is a lovely traditional past time & make a blackberry pie.

Borscht or Ukrainian Beetroot Soup:

500 g beetroot (boiled),cut into pieces
2 chicken fillets
2 tbsp butter
2 chicken stock cube
0,5 small white cabbage
6 tomatoes,peeled & seeded.chopped
1 onion,chopped
4 garlic gloves,crushed
4-5 potatoes,cut into pieces
2 carrots,sliced
salt,pepper
Cut chicken fillets into small cubes.
Heat the pan,add butter & chicken pieces.
Fry until browned all over.Add onions & garlic,fry for a minute.
Now add carrots,brown a little.
Throw in the chicken stock cubes & boiled water to cover everything.
Let it simmer until you chop cabbage & add it to the soup.
Add extra water if needed.
Add beetroot & tomatoes.
Simmer for ca 20 min,then add potatoes & boil until potatoes are done.
Season.
Serve with sour cream.

Pork Pot Roast with Cider & Mustard:

Brown a 1,5 kg boneless pork loin on all sides in
1 tbs olive oil.
Remove from pot.
Cook 1 medium chopped onion &
4 cloves minced garlic until onion is glossy.
Blend together 1 cup cider,
2 tbs honey,
1 tsp crumbled dried sage,
2 tbs Dijon mustard,
1 tsp lemon juice.
Pour over onions & garlic.
Return pork to pot & spoon liquid over it.
Bring to boil.
Simmer over low heat for about 2 hours or until meat is done.

Braised Carrots:

Shred 6 medium carrots.
Add 1 – 2 tbs chopped parsley & toss well.
Braise in 2 tbs melted butter in covered pan until carrots are done to taste.

Corn Bread:

213 g All-Purpose Flour
156 g cornmeal
50 g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt, to taste
283 g milk
113 g butter, melted & cooled
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Lightly grease a 22 cm square or round pan or 12 muffin cups.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings.
In another bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter & egg.
Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly & gently until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan, or scoop into the muffin tin.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan & a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven & cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting.
Serve warm.
Stir in any of these extra ingredients, or experiment with some of your own.
Feel free to add some cheese, green onions, corn kernels, jalapeño peppers, cooked sausage, or any combination of these suggestions.
The combined volume of your add-ins should be a maximum of 1 cup.
Corn & Scallion:
1/2 cup fresh/cooked or frozen/thawed corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped scallions (3 or 4 scallions, white & green part)
Bacon, Cheddar & Chive :
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
Cranberry-Walnut :

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Vegetable Cutlets:


2-3 medium potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes
~1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (green peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
1 onion,finely chopped
~1 cup breadcrumbs+ 1 cup extra for coating
1 egg
chopped parsley,chives
salt & little bit of freshly grated rose pepper
Boil & mash the potatoes.
Boil the vegetables,drain.Grate the carrots & chop the green beans.
Mix all ingredients together.Season.
To get the right texture you can add more breadcrumbs or some milk.
Shape the mixture into flat round patties & roll them in the bread crumbs,set aside.
Heat the oil on medium high heat in a frying pan.
Fry a few cutlets at a time until they are golden-brown on both sides.

Grapes & Apples Crumble Cake:

500 g flour
200 g sugar
250 g butter
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
vanilla
For filling:
ca 800 g apples
200 g seedless grapes
50 g sugar
100 g pecan nuts
cinnamon
Mix all dry ingredients,pieces of butter.
Work it all together with your fingertips,until crumbly texture forms.
Slice apples.
Place 2/3 of the crumble mix over the prepared big baking tray.
Place apples & grapes on to the top.
Sprinkle over with sugar & cinnamon.
Cover the cake with the rest of the crumble.
Scatter over pecans.
Bake in the preheated oven at 200C for 40 min or until golden brown.

Pear & Blackberry Crumbles

Nutty Apple & Blackberry Crumble With Creme Anglaise

Herbs of Mabon:

Acorn, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle & vegetables.

CELEBRATE:



Some good activities to celebrate are making cider, gathering herbs, taking a walk in the woods, visiting a local farm for harvest, gathering leaves & acorns & having a harvest feast.

Apples are the perfect symbol of the Mabon season.

Long connected to wisdom & magic, there are so many wonderful things you can do with an apple.

Find an orchard near you & spend a day with your family.

Gather plenty to take home & preserve for the coming winter months.

Mabon as a holiday or time of celebration is a period of release & of letting go. It is a time to honour those who have passed & a way of saying goodbye to the summer.

MAGIC:

Mabon is considered a time of the mysteries.

Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter- sweet herb for protection.

Make a protection charm of hazelnuts strung on red thread.