Seasons Of The Witch – Ancient Holidays (and some not so ancient!)
Blessing of the Grapes – In Armenia, the blessing of the Grapes takes place on the Sunday closest to the Assumption (they coincide this year). No grapes are eaten until today when they are taken to church to be blessed, then distributed to the churchgoers when they leave. Women named Mary have parties in vineyards or their homes (because this is considered their name day — as in many cultures, the saint’s day associated with your name is celebrated like a birthday). Spicer, Dorothy Gladys, The Book of Festivals, The Women’s Press 1937
Hera Thelkinia – On the 20th day of the lunar month of Metageitnion, the Greeks celebrated this festival in honor of Hera as Thelkinia, which some translate as the Charmer and others as the Enchanter.
Cat Nights -Someone thought that cats deserved their own month-long holiday after the Dog Days and decided that this was the starting date for it. Makes sense to me.
Portunalia – An obscure Roman festival associated with the harbor god Portunus, whose symbol was the key. He may have been a god of gates, or the keys that secure grain storehouses. Until AD 17, this was also the dedication day of Janus’s temple. Considering the value of stored grain, which is both food in winter and seed for spring, it makes sense that blessing the keys or transporting the grain to the storehouse at harvest time would become a sacred ritual.
China: FEAST OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS. Wide variety of offerings for those who died orphans, paupers or beggars & those who died far from home. Those lonesome & desolate souls may return to inhabit leaves & grasses, & spread plagues. If offerings are made, they may stay away.