Friday, March 25, 2011

Quarter day

"Justice delayed is injustice."

The above quote from the Magna Carta, is the foundation of English and later American common law. The rule of law requires a day of reckoning must come, sooner rather than later. Debts need be paid, trials held, unresolved conflicts settled. The ever practical British established Quarter Days to codify when justice was to be served.

Quarter Days fall every 3 months, on or near religious holidays falling near an equinox or solstice. Today marks the first quarter day of the year. While its use has diminished over time, it the day set aside to pay rent, hire servants, to settle accounts.

The 4 English quarter days are:
Lady's Day - March 25
Midsummer day = June 24
Michaelmas - September 29
Christmas - December 25

The March Quarter Day has historically been the least favored. In the old calendar it marked the beginning of the English tax year. Prior to the end of WW2, in a rural farming village, the cupboard was bare by the end of March. Rent and debt payments may be due, but last years crop had been long sold, and this year's lambs too young to sell. Farmers are unwilling or unable to sell their seed. It was a black day indeed.

So what is Lady's Day?

Lady's Day, also known as Annunciation Day, and/or Incarnation Day, falls exactly 9 months before Christmas. It's was a date set aside by the Roman church to honor the mother of Jesus.

When the Roman church ruled the world, the calendar in use declared March 25 the first day of the new year, so Happy New Year to each and every one of you. In 1582 the beloved Georgian calendar took effect, restoring January 1 as the beginning of the new year.

Remember your early American history class and George Washington's birthday celebrations? George's big day used to be one date, then the calendar changed and became another? The Brits didn't change to the Georgian calendar until 1752 which is why George's birthday and tax day moved.

Knowing that, those who have read this far, and who have the slightest understanding of Latin will now be able to explain to their loved ones how/why the positioning of months September-December are out of synch with their names.

on the re-anniversary of his 39th birthday and the Suburban Princess's 25th


Suburban Princess said...

Happy Birthday Unca Toad!

I love that I was born On Lady's Day! Set the bar high I always say!

Suburban Princess said...

Today would've been my gran's 90th birthday and just this second I remembered she always said 'I was born to be a lady but I wasnt required' LOL!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Happy Birthday, dear Toad.

James said...

A great day to you my friend.

Flo said...

"I was born to be a lady but I wasnt required"

Fabulous! And happy birthday to you, Toad, and your quotable grandmother, as well!

Toad said...

Many thanks. Today is also Grand daughter Paige's maternal granny's big day. Happy to her as well.

Patsy said...

Happy Birthday, Toad & Suburban Princess!

Divine Theatre said...

I am o glad you were born, my friend! Many Happy Returns of the day!

SouthernProletariat said...

Happy Birthday!!