Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Michaelmas!

Tomorrow, September 29th, is the Christian Feast Day known as Michaelmas.  Otherwise known as the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.  It is also one of the few feast days which has the suffix "mas".  The other two being Candlemas (February 2nd, aka Groundhog Day) and the much more popular and commercialized Christmas.

During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was a far more popular feast day.  It coincided with Autumn harvest in much of western Europe.  

In England it was customary to east a goose on Michaelmas to protect you from financial ruin. 

In Ireland, if you found a ring in the Michaelmas Cake, it would mean that someone was likely to be married that year.

It also coincided with the election of the new mayor and chief of police, and for a period of time on Michaelmas, there was a "lawless hour" where there was no law enforcement.  A symbolic gesture of this was to throw cabbage at people.

In Ottawa, Canada, in 1971, on Michaelmas ...

I was born.

Happy Michaelmas Everyone!

No comments: