Michaelmas / Spring equinox – celebrated in September
Michael Mount celebrates the festival of Michaelmas in the third term of the year. St. Michael – after whom the festival is named – is the archangel who was responsible for casting Lucifer out of heaven. Images of Michaelmas depict the Archangel Michael as a courageous fighter with his starry sword held high and also as holding a pair of scales. St Michael reminds us to be courageous in facing dragons, external and internal, but also to live balanced, truthful lives. Michaelmas calls forth strength and courage to face the truth. On occasion, one of the activities of this festival is an enactment of St George – Michael’s earthly counterpart – subduing the dragon.
Michaelmas is a time of great artistic output: drawings of dragons, stuffed dragons, edible dragons and more.
Spring celebrates the renewal of the earth, new life and all of the hope and joy that it brings. Nursery school children at Michael Mount celebrate the arrival of spring with a visit from the Spring Fairy.
In the Northern hemisphere, the spring equinox is celebrated as a secular as well as a religious festival, in late March. This equinox corresponds to the time or Easter and Ostara. Ostara is a pre-Christian goddess of re-birth and fertility, which is why eggs are often used to represent the festival. The hare (or rabbit) is also used as a symbol, because, in the northern hemisphere, they re-emerge to show themselves after a long winter’s sleep. Michaelmas is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere as part of the Autumnal equinox festivals in late September.