Festival Etiquette

Certain times of the year, there are can be a plethora of ceremonies for Pagans and Wiccans to attend. There are a few basic guidelines you should follow when you attend a public event:

Do:

Be respectful of others' beliefs. This includes being respectful of non-Pagan paths such as Christianity.

Be respectful of all those around you. Don't monopolize time and for goodness sake don't talk during the ceremony. Everyone has had to sit by “that person” who speaks and ruins the experience for everyone within ear shot. Save the chit-chat or questions for afterwards.

If you're asked to do something by a festival or event coordinator, do it. It will most likely help all those involved and free them up the coordinator to do other things to make the ceremony run smoothly.

Bring your own supplies. If you know ahead of time you're going to be attending a workshop or class, bring your own tools, materials, supplies and/or writing materials. There may be supplies available, but better safe than sorry.

Make a donation if you are able. A lot of ceremonies are put on by non-profit groups, which means they pay for everything you experience out of donations.

If you're attending a multi-day event, be sure you food for yourself. Plan ahead and bring a little more than you think you'll need.

Pay attention to rules regarding nudity. Some events are clothing-optional and will state this before hand. But a lot of places forbid nudity- especially public places like parks and beaches. If the ceremony invites children, nudity is usually prohibited.

If you're going to hook up with someone you met at a festival, Do practice safe sex. If you bring your children, keep an eye on them. It may take a village, but that village may not be appreciative of your child running amuck and ruining the experience for others. If you can't watch them at the event, find someone to watch them away from the festival.

Don'ts

Don't touch other people's stuff. Energies are very important and can be left on object without meaning to. Be aware that touching someone else’s items- no matter how tempting- is a major taboo.

If there are vendors, don't argue with them over price. In a lot of cases, items are homemade and took a lot more time and effort that you think they did. Trying to get a better price can be seen as an insult.

Be on time. It is unacceptable if you're attending a scheduled workshop or class, and interrupting a ceremony by being late is not only disruptive, it does not reflect very well on you!

Don't throw anything into a fire unless you are invited to do so. If there's something you'd like to add to a fire, ask one of the fire handlers to do it for you because most fires during a gathering are a spiritual offering that can be “ruined” by items not intended as a sacrifice to the God or Goddess.

Don't interrupt people who may be meditating. This is a personal time and you need to be respectful of their wished to be left alone during that time.

Do NOT take pictures of someone without their permission.

Don't complain about a lack of personnel. Keep in mind almost- if not all- people working a ceremony are volunteers.

DO NOT SHOW UP UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL! Inebriation of any kind can effect a spell, blessing, ceremony or disrupt others because you just can’t handle yourself in a respectful manner. In most cases, if you are assumed to be under the influence you will be removed form the ceremony and not invited back- ever.

As long as you are respectful, adhere to the Wiccan Rede, and show your sincere wish to be a valuable part of the ceremony, you will be welcomed.

Merry Meet!