Monday, 29 September 2014

10 Michaelmas Facts

When I was at a Very Posh University we used to start the academic year with Michaelmas Term. I never really knew much then, not being Christian and all, about the Feast of Michaelmas, but I was curious when reading today's Church of England Office for Michaelmas Day (aka Morning Prayer) so quickly read up, mainly relying on Wikipedia, as you do. So now I know:

  1. Michaelmas Day used to be a HUGE deal - both the end of bringing the harvest home,
  2. a quarter day marking the start of the next stage of the year,
  3. AND a day of holy obligation.
  4. It is the feast day of the Archangel Michael, who smacked down Lucifer, and also celebrates all the other archangels and angels 
  5. As the Months of Edible Celebrations website details, "Michaelmas is different from most other saints' days because it honors a spirit and not a human being."
  6. Importantly to me, our local annual large funfair in the city of Nottingham, still called the 'Goose Fair', originated as one of the Michaelmas celebration fairs.
  7. I love to take the kids to Goose Fair and eat hot dogs and mushy peas with mint sauce!
  8. People used to eat goose when they partied, as well as Michaelmas cake.
  9. Michaelmas cake can range from a type of bread, or bannock, to a sweet cake, and there are various recipes over the internet. I'd plump for a blackberry and apple crumble :-)
  10. There are lots of churches dedicated to St Michael and all the Angels. My nearest is a short drive away although I've never been.

Photos of Goose Fair rides from Wikipedia's page