The Haudenosaunee have 13 ceremonies throughout the year representing the 13 moons throughout the year. These ceremonies occur at various times of the year often following seasonal changes. Most ceremonies are a way of expressing thanks to the people, the natural world, the spirit world and the creator. It is hoped that this will help to maintain the health and prosperity of the nations.
Each ceremony includes an opening and closing prayer followed by dances and songs. Often various stories special the Haudenosaunee are shared to continue traditional teachings.
- The ceremonies are:
- Midwinter – Second week in January and lasts for approximately eight days.
- Maple Ceremony – Second week in February and lasts one day.
- Thunder Dance – First week in April to welcome back the thunderers.
- Sun and Moon dance – Beginning of May to give thanks to the sun and second week of May to give thanks to the moon in the morning and evening respectively.
- Seed Ceremony – Middle of May and lasts 1 day
- Planting Ceremony – End of May
- Strawberry Ceremony – Middle of May and lasts 1 day
- String bean – First week in August and lasts 1 day
- Corn – Middle of August
- Harvest – Middle of October and lasts four days.
- Thunder – November
- End of seasons – December