Michaelmas Day

Michaelmas Day Quick Facts - GB

AKA NameFeast of Michael, Goose Day
2024 Date29 September 2024
2025 Date29 September 2025

Michaelmas Day

Michaelmas Day in

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Michaelmas Day History

Michaelmas Day is a Christian observance honouring the archangel Michael, defender of good and slayer of evil. This day also acts as a commemoration of all the archangels, including Gabriel and Raphael.

The celebration of Michaelmas has its origins in ancient Celtic and Anglo-Saxon cultures, where Michael was seen as a warrior saint battling the forces of darkness. As Christianity spread across Britain, the observance evolved, incorporating feasting and prayers to mark the occasion. In the United Kingdom, Michaelmas gained particular importance as one of the four Quarter Days when rents were due, leases began or terminated, and servants were hired or released. Over time, Michaelmas became associated with the tradition of eating a roasted goose, symbolising the prosperity and luck required for the coming year.

In the United Kingdom, Michaelmas Day is observed annually on September 29th. While no longer a widespread public holiday, it remains significant for certain institutions, such as the legal profession and some universities. Traditional customs, such as feasting on a goose or engaging in agricultural competitions, prevail in some rural areas. Michaelmas daisies are often used as decorations to honour the event and add colourful hues to the autumn landscape.

Michaelmas Day Facts

  • St. Michael is known as the leader of the angels and is the patron saint of soldiers, police, mariners, and grocers.
  • St. Michael is often depicted as a warrior with a sword, defeating Satan.

Michaelmas Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • It's an old tradition to make a Michaelmas pie and serve it on this day. The pie uses ingredients that are in season such as blackberries, plums or apples.
  • If you're near Cornwall, visit the St. Michael’s Mount, a historical site named after St. Michael that has ties to the Michaelmas holiday.
  • Look out for local Michaelmas fairs or events in cities and village fairs. These events often include displays of traditional crafts, food and drink stalls and sometimes even medieval re-enactments.
  • Learn about the historical significance of Michaelmas by visiting institutions like the British Library, the Museum of English Rural Life, or the Houses of Parliament.
  • Going for a walk in the countryside, visiting a National Trust site, or planning a day trip to a picturesque village can be an enjoyable way to spend Michaelmas Day.

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