Saturday, 29 September 2018

Michaelmas

29th September is Michaelmas, the equinox is past and autumn is really here. The autumn decorations were added to the mantel-piece after the chimney was swept but I forgot  to take a photo.
Much like last year except for the hare that came from the Suffolk Show in May and the brown jug and lantern from car boot sales this summer. The wooden fruit came from a car boot sale in 2017 . The only thing new was the leaf swag bought last year and safely stored away to use every autumn.



 Michaelmas was an important day when farm rents were due, annual employment terms ended, local courts were held and children would finally go back to school after helping with the  harvests. 

A couple of weather sayings for today

If St Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow

So many days old the moon is on Michaelmas Day, so many floods after.


A roast "stubble" goose - fattened from the barley gleanings on the fields after harvest =, used to be the traditional meal on this day and it was thought that eating goose on Michaelmas Day would bring financial prosperity in the year to come.

 Whoever eats goose on Michaelmas day, Shall never lack money for his debts to pay


And when the tenants come to pay their quarter's rent,
They bring some fowl at midsummer, a dish of fish in Lent,
At Christmas a capon, at Michaelmas a goose, 
And somewhat else at New-year's tide, for fear their lease fly loose .

Goose Fairs used to be held on this day and geese were walked to the famous fairs. There is a record dating from the C16, of over twenty thousand geese being walked to Nottingham goose fair from Lincolnshire and Norfolk. Their feet were prepared for the long walk by being coated by with a mixture of tar and sand.


 In one of my books it says that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries should be picked. It is said that when St Michael threw Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a blackberry bush making the fruit useless
BUT in another book this story is given for October 10th, this anomaly will be due to the change of calendar when 12 days were lost. In reality it probably depends on the weather and how damp it's been to make the blackberries mouldy.

Have a lovely weekend everyone............. the forecast is good for Suffolk although much colder than it has been.

Back Monday
Sue
 

25 comments:

  1. Your seasonal mantelpieces are so lovely and I think they make the most of an already attractive thing. Fascinating facts about Michaelmas, thank you.
    xx

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  2. Your mantelpiece looks lovely, I am going to do mind this afternoon after I have been shopping. My daughter brought me several pretty things when she went to America and I get them out each year. It was chilly this morning but it looks as thou it's going to be a nice day.
    Have a nice weekend Sue.
    Love
    Hazel c uk

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  3. What a lovely display on your mantlepiece. That's something we don't have here, as we have beams over the fireplaces.

    I have heard the old Blackberry saying, but basically you can carry on picking until the rain gets to them. October 10th is probably a date closer to them outliving their summer.

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  4. I have noticed a good crop of acorns, which seem to be bigger than usual, this year. Not convinced we’ll have a white Christmas though.

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  5. brilliant tales - not heard either of them before. unfortunately i don't know where the nearest goose-selling butchers is; if i did, then i'd be front of the queue!!

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  6. I love the way you decorate your mantle piece for each season.

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  7. A charming post and I am going to lower the tone by saying that we were always told never to eat blackberries after the end of September because the devil has spat on them or if you wish to be more blunt peed on them....

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  8. Michaelmas is still significant to farming and this is the time of the year when the Michaelmas sales take place. Look at any auction pages in the rural press and you will see the change of farming policy sales of implements, and retirement sales etc. My father even timed his death right, as a farmer, and died at Michaelmas.

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  9. On my farm in Devon we had a large pond quite near the road where the geese and live stock that were being walked to market in the near by village would stop to refresh themselves. xcx

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  10. I'm surprised that Andy wasn't called Michael. It's his birthday today and his family were country folks.
    Your mantlepiece looks beautiful.
    Hugs-x-

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  11. Bravo on the mantle-piece design. Lovely. Enjoyed the information on the Michaelmas traditions. We're supposed to be enjoying one of the first cool, rain-free days since forever...and by cool, I mean a high of 23C, but with much lower humidity than we've been suffering. Have a good weekend.

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  12. Michaelmas isn't celebrated much if at all this side of the pond, but my Gran always made a special dinner with blackberries for dessert & told the tale of Lucifer (light) being thrown out of heaven & landing in the blackberry bush. For me I think of a line in Sense & Sensibility (the version with Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet) when Mrs Jennings says she'll have the girls married by Michaelmas ...

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  13. We always used to say that the devil weed on the blackberries on Michaelmas Day so you mustn't eat em after that date. Obviously we were a lot more 'earthy' than the kids in your part of the world. Us Lincolnshire folk were rather near boggy ground in olden times!!

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  14. My brother was born on Michaelmas day but my mum chose not to call him Michael!
    Love your mantel it really speaks of Autumn and all those interesting facts, especially about the goose feet.

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  15. That looks beautifully autumnal and very cosy. I love the word Michaelmas! I keep meaning to get some Michaelmas daisies planted in the garden - and half the reason is simply for the pleasure of saying the word!!

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  16. I've been decorating my shelf with Autumn leaves too. Your mantelpiece looks lovely. I'm a bit biased towards Michaelmas because I'm a Michaelmas baby!
    Arilx

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  17. I love your whole fireplace display!

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  18. You have such a talent for decrating your mantle. It looks better than any professional decorating job! I love the hare! I sure enjoy these posts about special days and the traditions associated with them. You don't hear about Michaelmas here in the states and you have taught me a lot.

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  19. I love how your mantel looks all decorated for Autumn. I enjoyed your Michaelmas quotes, they sure take you back in time. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  20. Your fireplace loves lovely and festive. I really need to give up summer and move on to fall, but it is hard and the weather is not cooperating.

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  21. Love the mantle. The leaf garland is just perfect there.

    I haven't even started decorating for the fall, perhaps I better get to it before winter and Christmas arrives.

    God bless.

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  22. Beautiful mantel decor, perfect for the season. A joy to visit and learn so much more about Michaelmas.

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  23. Great post! I love the mantle. The only decorations I have out are some acorns I've collected and a decorated pumpkin.

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