Feast Days

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People in the seventeenth century were more likely to refer to religious feast days and quarter days than dates. So Grammar Schools commonly defined the summer as running from Lady Day to Michaelmas rather than 25 March to 29 September.

The quarter days were particularly important because they were commonly the days on which rent was paid (and in the world of commercial property, this is still the case today). The quarter days are Lady Day (25 March), Midsummer Day (24 June) Michaelmas (29 September) and Christmas Day (25 December).

For servants, Lady Day and Michaelmas were important because these were often the days on which they were paid: there was no handing out of a weekly or monthly pay packet.

So re-enactors need to become familiar with the feast days that would have applied in the seventeenth century.

The Feast Days listed below have been identified within seventeenth century manuscripts

Epiphany 6 January
Lady Day 25 March
Sheer Thursday Thursday before Easter
Low Sunday Sunday after Easter
Pentecost 50 days after Easter Sunday
Trinity Sunday First Sunday after Pentecost
St Barnabas Day 11 June
Nativity of St John The Baptist 24 June
Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr (St Thomas’s Day) 3 July
St Bartholomew’s Day 24 August
Michaelmas 29 September
All Saints Day 1 November
All Souls Day 2 November
Martinmas (St Martin the Bishop) 11 November
St. Andrew’s Eve 29 November
St. Thomas's Eve 21 December
Christmas Day 25 December