What is Michaelmas?

Michaelmas which we celebrate on September 29th, comes at the time of the harvest when we are able to gather in the fruits which have been growing, strengthening and ripening since the spring. We can enjoy the apples, pumpkins, plums, tomatoes, beans and the wheat from which we make our bread. They look so beautiful and one can almost see the warmth and sunshine in their colours when they are displayed on the harvest table.

Michaelmas is celebrated in all Steiner schools, which celebrate it as the “festival of strong will” during the autumnal equinox.

We have often have plays and stories about St. Michael and the dragon. The key element of the Michaelmas festival is that it celebrates inner strength and courage. Dragons are a central theme of Michaelmas because St. Michael, who represents courage, is traditionally pictured subduing a dragon. The image behind the festival of Michaelmas is to help us to face own challenges – in other words, our internal and external dragons.

Michaelmas is also about more than just the battle of good versus evil, it is also about balance. Michaelmas falls within the zodiac sign of Libra (the scales), and also very near the balance of equal daylight & darkness. Michaelmas, a time for us to find our own inner balance and harvest – a time when we prepare for the winter.