Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Michaelmas (pronounced ) or the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels is a day in the Christian calendar, taking place on 29 September. It is one of the English and Welsh and Irish quarter days in the Irish calendar.
It is also used in the extended sense of "Autumn", so Michaelmas is also the name of the first term in the Cambridge, Durham, the LSE, Oxford, and Trinity College, Dublin academic year which starts around this date.
The cult of St. Michael began in the Eastern Church in the 4th century and spread to Western Christianity by the 5th century; the date of 8 May commemorates the dedication of a sanctuary to St. Michael at Monte Gargano in Italy in the 6th century. Because of St. Michael's traditional position as leader of the heavenly armies, veneration of all angels was eventually incorporated into his cult.
During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was a great religious feast and many popular traditions grew up around the day, which coincided with the harvest in much of western Europe. In England it was the custom to eat a goose on Michaelmas, which was supposed to protect against financial need for the next year. In Ireland, finding a ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie meant that one would soon be married.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details