OLD MICHAELMAS DAY
Old Michaelmas Day
Goose Fair Day
Today is the day and I am so delighted because for once I have married the event with the actual date! Normally it crosses my mind too early or too late; and I always feel so sad about it because it is just the loveliest name. How can it go uncelebrated or unremembered?
If truth be told there are complicated myths and legends associated with this ‘Feast of St Michaels’ and it is wrapped up in Roman Catholic traditions, medieval legal systems and equinoxes. It is the true beginning of autumn and a lovely bit of folklore has it that blackberries should not be picked on or after this date. The story goes that Satan was cast out of Heaven on this day and he landed in a blackberry bush. Furious, he cursed the fruit or as the tradition goes, he spat or urinated on them making them unsuitable for gathering. Perhaps I’ve been doing just that after this date unheeded for all these years.
So bring back Michaelmas as a date to settle your debts (medieval) and then celebrate it by feasting on roasted goose with apple sauce finished off with bowls of rice pudding and embrace the winter ahead…..