September the 29th,Michaelmas, the day of St Michael and and All Angels or Michaelmas was celebrated as a holy day throughout the United Kingdom and Europe until the 18th century.
During the Middle Ages Michaelmas became a great religious feast and many popular traditions grew up around the day. Coinciding with the end of harvest, the feast was celebrated with a traditional well-fattened Michaelmas goose fed on the stubble fields after harvest.
Michaelmas coincides with the autumn equinox, historically, the day of the year on which the serfs of the manor elected a reeve. The reeve was expected to ensure all other serfs started work on time and that no one was cheating the lord of the manor out of any money. This day was also recognised as the beginning of the farming year , the time for rents and debts to be paid to the lord of the manor. Many landlords would hold a goose feast for all tenants to supposedly protect against financial hardships.
Michaelmas is still celebrated in many European countries and Michaelmas goose is starting to gain popularity within the United Kingdom. Michaelmas goose is also known as the 'green goose' as they have been fed on stubble and grass as opposed to the Christmas goose which is finished on corn. Many restaurants and butchers have started to promote Michaelmas goose reviving old recipes and folklore surrounding Michaelmas.
UK Goose Producers have started to produce geese specifically for the Michaelmas goose market, with demand growing year on year. To find out where you can buy a Michaelmas goose, please contact us and we will send you details of producers.