Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Michelmas Feast

Celebration of Michelmas

The Michaelmas Feast is held every year at the end of September. In medieval times, the Michaelmas was considered the commencement of the husbandman’s year and the end of the harvest. 

It was named after St. Michael who defeated Lucifer and is regarded as a great Archangel. A basilica near Rome was dedicated to St. Michael in 5th century on September 30, Hence the celebration.

The Michaelmas Feast was thought to be a Holy Day of Obligation during the Middle Ages. For the Lutheran Christians, Michaelmas Feast is a principal feast of Christ. In the northern hemisphere, Michaelmas coincides with the beginning of autumn. 

Customs and traditions:

Michaelmas Daisy Flower: In Autumn, majority of flowers do not blossom and the only flower available will be the Michaelmas Daisy. Just as St. Michael is believed to protect followers from darkness, the Daisy flower removes the gloom of Autumn. Since the Michaelmas Day is the day to bid farewell to the current year and welcome the new year, presenting the Michaelmas Daisy Flower symbolizes bidding farewell. 

Crab Apples & True Love: In England, village maidens collected crab apples and arranged them to form the names of their lovers. If they remained perfect till October 11 it was a sign of true love.

It was considered a bad omen to collect black berries on the day of Michaelmas.

Weatherlore: Eating goose at this time was also important.  German folklore suggests that the weather can be foreseen from the breastbones of the Michaelmas goose. They carried this belief to America where it still exists among the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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