/mik"euhl meuhs/, n. Chiefly Brit.
a festival celebrated on September 29 in honor of the archangel Michael. Also called Michaelmas Day.
[bef. 1150; ME Mighelmes; OE (Sanct) Michaeles masse (St.) Michael's mass]

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▪ Christian festival
      Christian feast of St. Michael the archangel, celebrated in the Western churches on September 29 and in the Eastern (Eastern Orthodoxy) (Orthodox) Church on November 8. In the Roman Catholic Church (Roman Catholicism), it is the Feast of SS. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels; in the Anglican (Anglicanism) Church, its proper name is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

      The cult of St. Michael began in the Eastern Church in the 4th century and spread to Western Christianity by the 5th century; the date of May 8 commemorates the dedication of a sanctuary to St. Michael at Monte Gargano in Italy in the 6th century. Because of St. Michael's traditional position as leader of the heavenly armies, veneration of all angels was eventually incorporated into his cult.

      During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was a great religious feast and many popular traditions grew up around the day, which coincided with the harvest in much of western Europe. In England it was the custom to eat a goose on Michaelmas, which was supposed to protect against financial need for the next year. In Ireland, finding a ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie meant that one would soon be married.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Michaelmas — Mich ael*mas, n. [Michael + mass religious service; OE. Mighelmesse.] The feast of the archangel Michael, a church festival, celebrated on the 29th of September. Hence, colloquially, autumn. [1913 Webster] {Michaelmas daisy}. (Bot.) See under… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Michaelmas — See quarter day. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • Michaelmas — early 12c., Sanct Micheles mæsse, the feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29, an English quarter day), from MICHAEL (Cf. Michael) + MASS (Cf. mass) (n.2). Goose is the day s traditional fare since at least 15c …   Etymology dictionary

  • Michaelmas — ► NOUN ▪ the day of the Christian festival of St Michael, 29 September. ORIGIN Old English, «Saint Michael s Mass», referring to the Archangel Michael …   English terms dictionary

  • Michaelmas — [mik′əl məs] n. [ME Mighelmesse < OE Michaeles mæsse: see MICHAEL & MASS1] the feast of the archangel Michael, September 29 …   English World dictionary

  • Michaelmas — For other uses, see Michaelmas (disambiguation). Saint Michael the Archangel Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael… …   Wikipedia

  • Michaelmas — UK [ˈmɪk(ə)lməs] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Michaelmas : singular Michaelmas plural Michaelmases 29th September, when some Christians remember Saint Michael …   English dictionary

  • Michaelmas — n. the feast of St Michael, 29 September. Phrases and idioms: Michaelmas daisy an autumn flowering aster. Michaelmas term Brit. (in some universities) the autumn term. Etymology: OE sancte Micheles maeligsse Saint Michael s mass: see MASS(2) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Michaelmas — /ˈmɪkəlməs/ (say mikuhlmuhs) noun a Christian festival celebrated on 29 September in honour of the archangel Michael. Also, Michaelmas Day. {Middle English, Old English (Sanct) Michaeles masse (St) Michael s mass} …  

  • Michaelmas —    The feast of St Michael the Archangel, 29 September, is one of the *Quar ter Days, a date for the payment of rents and the beginning or ending of hiring engagements (see *hiring fairs). It was also a day for feasting, the traditional fare… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

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