There is a fun little holiday that happens at the end of September called Michaelmas. Michaelmas was celebrated way back in the middle ages as a feast day to Michael the Archangel, and is still observed today.
Since my kids were tiny, I have always had a few, fun, out of the ordinary, celebrations that we like to observe. Fun ways of marking the various seasons with non commercial traditions throughout the year. Michaelmas is one of these celebrations. You can see my previous post about Michaelmas here - Michaelmas Fun. There is is also interesting info to read about Michaelmas at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelmas.
Do you enjoy celebrating Michaelmas?
Michaelmas is on September 29th. The traditional meal is Goose, one of these years I think it would be fun to make a goose. Instead, I usually make a nice fall meal, and decided this year to make a delicious Potato Soup, to go along with Dragon Bread, another Michaelmas tradition I will tell you about.
Here's my recipe for Potato Soup- A delicious and hearty soup, perfect for fall.
Peel and Cube between 10 & 15 red potatoes (depends on the size of potatoes, and how much soup you are making)
1 bunch of celery cleaned and chopped
2 medium onions chopped
1 box of chicken stock (you could also use water with added seasonings or vegetarian stock)
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T dried parsley
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
4 tablespoons of butter
Add the potatoes, celery, onion, broth & seasonings, to your crock pot, along with more water to bring liquid almost to the top of veggies. Set crock pot on high and cook for 6-8 hours until potatoes are cooked through. When the potatoes are cooked, I like to take a potato masher and mash the soup just a bit, I still like lots of nice potato pieces, but some of the potatoes need to be broken up into the broth.
About half an hour before you serve the soup, scoop out about a cup of the hot soup broth and put it in a sauce pan, along with 1 1/2 cups of milk and 4 Tablespoons of butter, heat on medium high, stirring often until butter is mostly melted and milk is fairly warm. Then add the milky mixture to the soup and stir until incorporated. It is important at this point to turn down your crock pot, because you don't want the soup to boil any more, after the milk has been added.
If your soup is too brothy you can add about 1/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes. This helps avoid adding a thickener like flour.
Optional toppings: Crumbled Cooked Bacon or Cheddar Cheese (We used bacon, it was delicious!)
Look how the Dragon Bread turned out! Dragon Bread is very fun to make.
Why Dragon Bread?
Traditionally stories are read of when Michael the Archangel hurled Satan (represented by a dragon) from heaven. Here is the verse from the Bible.
Revelation 12:7-9 (NIV) 7. And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and his angels fought back. 8. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9. The great dragon was hurled down- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Often the Story of St. George and The Dragon is also told- the courageous knight who slew a dragon and saved a princess.
In the middle ages Michaelmas was celebrated during the harvest, with Michael the Archangel representing light at a time when the days become shorter and darker.
This is also a verse I plan to share during our Michalemas dinner- our ancestors in ancient times may have feared the darker fall and winter months- this verse gives us hope through Jesus!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, " I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
I do like discussing the point of our little celebration with the kids, especially now that they are older, it is also however, meant to be a fun celebration of fall. That's where dragon themed fun comes in.
This year I found a fun new book that fits in with our dragon theme. I was reading blogs a couple of weeks ago, and came across this interesting new book suggestion. I purchased it for our library. The Book is called Dragons Legends and Lore of Dinosaurs- the book is a nice hardcover book, filled with lift a flaps, and envelopes to open, and interesting dragon pictures.
I would say this book would be better for older children, and discusses the correlation between the dragon tales of the past from around the world with actual dinosaurs living during the time of humans, as well as biblical references to dinosaurs. I am excited to look into this book more, and thought it would be perfect for our Dragon theme. Check it out at my Amazon affiliate link below.
I would encourage everyone to do a quick Google search to check out the many fun crafts associated with this holiday that would be perfect for younger children. Lots of cute and fun dragon craft ideas!
In keeping with the Dragon theme, when the kids were younger we used to read Dragon themed storybooks- One of my favorite Dragon children's books is written by one of my top 10 favorite children's writers, Tomie dePaola, called The Knight and the Dragon. This is a cute story about A knight who has to Fight a Dragon, as well as the story from the Dragon's view of fighting a Knight. Very cute, wonderful illustrations, you can look at more info about this book through my affiliate link below.
Do you enjoy celebrating Michaelmas?