The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals in contemporary Paganism. It consists primarily of eight festivals based around the solstices and equinoxes, known as the quarter days, and the midpoints between, known as the cross quarter days.
Within Paganism, many festivals are celebrated. They can vary considerably in name and date amongst specific traditions, however the eight festivals of the Wheel comprise the most adhered and important annual celebrations. They are a unifying feature of modern Paganism. The Wheel has been important to many people, both ancient and modern, and its festivals are based to varying degrees on folk tradition.
In Wicca, the festivals are also referred to as sabbats /ˈsæbət/, the term being explained as passed down from the Middle Ages, when the terminology for Jewish Shabbats was commingled with that of other heretical celebrations.