Winternights marks the end of the harvest season. This is the time of year where the last crops are brought in to help our communities survive the winter. The British Columbia Heathen Freehold celebrates this festival at the same time as Thanksgiving here in Canada. We will be hosting a Live-streamed faining to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for the bounty that has been provided to our communities. Like most of our fainings this year, it will take place in the shadow of COVID-19. So it is especially important to remember those things that we are grateful for, in order to bolster our spirits as we move into the long cold dark of winter.
Historically, Winternights was the final harvest festival. The community would gather for a great feast, honouring the land and spirits that aided in the success of the crops. In Scandinavia this festival was called Winternights, it marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter in their two season calendar. The Anglo-Saxons held a festival in the month of Winterfylleþ on the full-moon to celebrate the beginning of Winter. This is considered one of the historical major fainings, when the Norse would hold their Things and the English their Moots, the other two being Yule and Eastertide in our modern calendar.
This year we will be honouring Ingui-Freyr and the elves, to thank them for ensuring the success of our harvest. We hope that you will all be able to join us on October 11th at 4:00 pm.