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SunSep 29

Michaelmas – September 29, 2024

Michaelmas is celebrated on September 29 every year. Michaelmas is celebrated in honor of the three archangels, Angel Michael, Angel Gabriel, and Angel Raphael. On Michaelmas, families spend the day doing good, dancing, singing, and at the end of the day, sharing a feast of freshly baked bread, roast goose stuffed with potatoes, veggies, and herbs. It’s also a season for picking blackberries with friends and family!

History of Michaelmas

Michaelmas is also called the Feast of the Archangels, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and the Feast of St. Michael and all angels. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches and was first observed in Europe.

Michaelmas was first celebrated in the 5th century when a basilica was built in honor of Angel Michael in Via Salaria, a road a few miles away from Rome. The celebrations started on the eve of the event, which is September 29. Since then, September 29 is a day reserved to honor Angel Michael and the other archangels.

In medieval times, Michaelmas doubled as the Holy Day of Obligation, but the tradition was abolished in the 18th century. The event also marked the end of the harvest year. In Ireland and England, Michaelmas marked the end of a quarter year for judicial, financial, and academic matters.

With the “May Michaelmas féinín on you” greeting on their lips, Irishmen go on pilgrimage to holy wells associated with St. Michael and have a drink from them. They also give to the poor to commemorate the good deeds of angels. If you were born on this day in that era, you would have been named Michael.

Before the end of the day, blackberries have to be picked and eaten because it is believed that on the day St. Michael drove the devil out of heaven, he landed in a blackberry bush, which he spat on and cursed. These days, Michaelmas is celebrated by attending Mass, feasting with loved ones, dressing up, and doing good.

Michaelmas timeline

5th Century
A Church for St. Michael

A basilica is built in honor of St. Michael.

New Date for Michaelmas

The date of Michaelmas is changed when the Gregorian calendar is adopted.

18th Century
Obligations: Not This Day

The Holy Day of Obligation tradition is stopped.

19th Century
No More Lawless Hour

The tradition where people could not be arrested for an hour on the Monday after Michaelmas is abolished.

Michaelmas FAQs

Is Michaelmas a Pagan Holiday?

No, Michaelmas is a Christian holiday, mainly celebrated by Roman Catholic and Anglican churches around the world.

Is it compulsory to eat geese on Michaelmas?

It might be difficult to get geese, but that doesn’t stop the celebrations! You can improvise with any poultry of your choice.

What is Michaelmas daisy?

On Michaelmas, there are only a few flowers in bloom. One of them is named the Michaelmas daisy (also called asters) and signifies the celebration.

How to Observe Michaelmas

  1. Prepare a feast

    Treat your friends and family to a delicious feast of stuffed goose, pies, salads, and tasty side dishes.

  2. Eat some berries

    Whether you pick them, eat them, drink them, or bake with them, whatever you do, ensure you enjoy blackberries with your loved ones!

  3. Be an angel

    Celebrate good angels by doing good deeds — even for those you don't know.

5 Mind-blowing Facts About Michaelmas

  1. The king's son and the goose

    After choking on a goose bone, the son of an Irish king was brought to life by St. Patrick, making goose a key item for Michaelmas.

  2. Ring in the pie

    If you find a ring in the Michaelmas pie, it means you will soon be married in Ireland.

  3. Double winters

    In Irish folklore, it is believed that a clear Michaelmas day means there will be two winters in the year.

  4. After new Michaelmas

    After the date of Michaelmas was changed, the legend of the devil and blackberries became more profound.

  5. Geese for landlords

    In Ulster, it was a tradition for tenants to present geese to their landlords on Michaelmas.

Why Michaelmas is Important

  1. Feasting with family

    It is always fun to gather around the table and enjoy meals with our family and friends.

  2. Sharing smiles

    On Michaelmas, we take the place of angels and put smiles on faces by doing good.

  3. Blackberry burst

    For everyone who is a lover of blackberries, Michaelmas is a special day to binge on the sweet fruit.

Michaelmas dates

2024September 29Sunday
2025September 29Monday
2026September 29Tuesday
2027September 29Wednesday
2028September 29Friday

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