Pagans believe that there is no real beginning or end to the year. The Pagan calendar of Sabbats Esbats reflects the belief that life runs in cycles. For convenience, Pagans will designate a particular Sabbat as the "start" of the year. One of the differences between Pagan traditions is on which Sabbat they choose to start the cycle of the year. In my Urban Pagan Tradition, the year begins (and ends) on Yule, or Winter Solstice.
The Sabbats, or Solar Celebrations, occur at the Beginning and middle of each season. The Wheel of the Year, shown on the right, lists the eight Sabbats. In my tradition, the Wheel is read clockwise from the top.
Yule, Ostara, Litha, and Mabon shift their dates slightly from year to year. This is because they occur on the Solar Equinoxes and Solstices. The Equinoxes are the beginning of Spring and Autumn. These are the days of the year when day and night are of equal length. Summer Solstice has the longest day of the year. Winter Solstice has the longest night.
More information about how and why these days on the Pagan Calendar are celebrated can be found on the Pagan Sabbats and Holidays page
In addition to the Solar Celebrations, Pagans hold rituals under the Full Moon and, occasionally, the New Moon. These are called Esbats. These are generally more private and somber than the Sabbats.You can find the dates of the new and full moons at http://www.moongiant.com/Full_Moon_New_Moon_Calendar.phpThe Urban Pagan › Pagan Religion › Pagan Calendar