Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feast day of the Annunciation (Lady Day)

(Marigold, Calendula officinalis, is today's plant, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.)

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Today in Christian lore marks the day that the Archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Annunciation, nine months before Christmas Day, is widely celebrated in Europe.

According to early calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus, March 25 was the day, in 31 CE, of the first Easter, that is, the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It was once also known to the Christians of Britain as 'Lady Day'.

Lady Day is an abridgement of the old term 'Our Lady's day' – a 'gaudy day' of the Catholic Church, and it represents the Christianization of older, pagan Spring Equinox festivals, in the much the same way that St Patrick's Day and Easter do.

Known as the first day of the year, from the 12th Century till until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, it is the first of the four traditional Irish Quarter days and English quarter days. In England, it was actually celebrated as New Year's Day until 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, January 1 was first declared to begin the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom's tax year, which starts on April 6, which is March 25 adjusted for the 11 lost days of the calendar change ...

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