Welcome to autumn. We are blessed with some pretty amazing fall weather in Atlantic Canada.
Back on the farm, fall seemed to come and go very quickly. My sister Monique was always sad to see September come: summer vacations were over, we were back in school and the garden was starting to look a little tired. Despite all of that, Grandma found something to celebrate. On Sept. 29 she would be the first to wish everybody a happy Michaelmas – the 29th is the feast day of Saint Michael.
Traditionally, Michaelmas was the last day of the harvest season. In many areas of the country today, harvest is still in full swing at the end of September. Our crops have been modified for higher yields and, in some cases, require a longer growing season. And then there’s the issue of our changing weather – more on that at another time.
As you know, Grandma watched the calendar quite closely, so on Sept. 29 we headed out to assess the acorn situation. According to weather lore – and Grandma, of course – if there were lots of acorns on the ground on Michaelmas, there would be snow on the ground before Christmas.
While we were counting acorns, some people were eating goose. In many parts of Europe, Sept. 29 is called Goose Day: “Eat goose on Michaelmas Day, want not for money all year.” Doing an acorn count was fun, but had Grandma told us about Goose Day, things could have been very different.
By the way, Saint Michael is the patron saint of the sea and maritime lands, as well as ships and boatman.
This year Michaelmas Day falls on a Saturday. Gather the little ones and head out; it could be a fun outing and a peek into the upcoming winter!
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.