Today, September 29, is Michaelmas. This is the day we celebrate the Archangel Michael (and all of the other angels).
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a day in the Western Christian calendar that 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.” In Christianity, 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. (from here)
In the Waldorf world: The primary idea behind the festival of Michaelmas is to get children to face their own challenges – in other words, their internal and external dragons. (from here)
My little guy and I started our day by reading the Archangel Michael page in our Saints and Angels book. We love this book, and I know I have talked about it before.
Then we hung up the beeswax dragon ornament we received in a Michaelmas swap I participated in.When G got done with school, we spent our walk home looking for signs of Autumn.
On our walk, he wore this sweet handmade golden pouch I also received in the swap and put the small leaves in it.
The little parcel came in the bag and contained these beautiful amber coloured glass gems, which G had fun sorting into various piles. We thought they look like shooting star remnants, which ties in with the day nicely.
After he played for a while, we baked a blackberry cake (I used this recipe except used blackberries). Baking with blackberries is a fun thing to do on Michaelmas because there is an old Irish lore that when St. Michael threw Lucifer out of heaven, Lucifer landed in a blackberry bush. Since that would hurt a bit (ouch!), he was rather angry and cursed the blackberries, so it is best to pick and use your blackberries before Michaelmas.
I found the fantastic shooting star beeswax candle at Whole Foods!
After dinner, we had a fun family time playing with the St. George shadow puppets I made (that was my contribution for the swap, along with a Michaelmas daisy beeswax ornament). We read the story a few days ago, then did our own retelling as we moved the puppets. It was lots of fun.
The little guy also did a couple drawings over the last couple days, leading up to celebrating today.
I’ll end with a verse one of the other moms sent in the swap (which she included with beautiful fabric wings. We’re going to hang those in the little guy’s bedroom before he goes to sleep to end our celebration):