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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michaelmas - The Christianized Mabon

September 29th is a medieval holiday which the Church Christianized under the label of “Michaelmas,” a feast in honor of the Archangel Michael. It is thought that the Roman Catholic Church at some point considered assigning the quarter dates to the four Archangels, since they had assigned the cross quarters to the four gospel-writers. Making the Vernal Equinox a holiday called “Gabrielmas” was taken into consideration in honor of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary on Lady Day.

This Sabbat can also be known as:

  • Second Harvest Festival,
  • Festival of Strong Will
  • Feast of Avalon, 
  • Cornucopia, 
  • Wine Harvest, 
  • Fall Equinox, 
  • Harvest Home, 
  • Autumnal (or Autumn) Equinox, 
  • Festival of Dionysus,
  • Alban Elfed (Caledonii, Druidic), 
  • Winter Finding (Teutonic), 
  • Equinozio di Autunno (Strega).
During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation, but this tradition was abolished in the 18th century. Lutheran Christians consider it a principal feast of Christ. 

It was also one of the English, Welsh and Irish quarter days when accounts had to be settled. On manors, it was the day when a reeve was elected from the peasants. Traditional meal for the day includes goose (a "stubble-goose", i.e. one prepared around harvest time) and a special cake called a St Michael's bannock.


Old Michaelmas Day falls on October 11 (October 10 according to some sources). According to an old legend, blackberries should not be picked after this date. This is because, so folklore goes, Satan was banished from Heaven on this day, fell into a blackberry bush and cursed the brambles as he fell into them. In Yorkshire, it is said that the devil had spat on them. This old legend is well known in all parts of the United Kingdom, even as far north as the Orkney Islands. In Cornwall, a similar legend prevails, however, the saying goes that the devil urinated on them.

Note: This post was compiled by Shirley Twofeathers for Gypsy Magic. Much of the information came from wikipedia. You may repost and share it only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

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