Definitions for michaelmasˈmɪk əl məs
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Michaelmas, Michaelmas Day, September 29(noun)
honoring the archangel Michael; a quarter day in England, Wales, and Ireland
A Christian feast in honour of the archangel Michael
29th September, the day it is celebrated
the feat of the archangel Michael, a church festival, celebrated on the 29th of September. Hence, colloquially, autumn
Origin: [Michael + mass religious service; OE. Mighelmesse.]
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September. Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. In medieval England, Michaelmas marked the ending and beginning of the husbandman's year, George C. Homans observes: "at that time harvest was over, and the bailiff or reeve of the manor would be making out the accounts for the year." The Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honoured for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence. Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes as well, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland as one of the quarter days. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not observe Michaelmas. The Greek Orthodox honor the archangels on 8 November instead.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
is the festival in honour of St. Michael and the angels, held on the 20th September, the day being one of the quarter days on which rents are levied.
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