Lady Day

Lady Day

:dablink|"Lady Day" is also a nickname given to Billie HolidayIn the Christian calendar, Lady Day is the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March) and the first of the four traditional Irish and English quarter days. The "Lady" was the Virgin Mary. The term derives from Middle English, when some nouns lost their genitive inflections. "Lady" would later gain an -s genitive ending, and therefore the name means "Lady's day."

Non-Religious Significance

In England, Lady Day was New Year's Day up to 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, 1 January became the start of the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom's tax year, which starts on 6 April, i.e. Lady Day adjusted for the "lost days" of the calendar change (until this change Lady Day had been used as the start of the legal year).

As a year-end and quarter day that conveniently did not fall within or between the seasons for plowing and harvesting, Lady Day was a traditional day on which year-long contracts between landowners and tenant farmers would begin and end in England and nearby lands (although there were regional variations). Farmers' time of "entry" into new farms and onto new fields was often this day [Adams, Leonard P. "Agricultural Depression and Farm Relief in England, 1813-1852" Reviewed in "Journal of the Royal Statistical Society", 95(4):735-737 (1932)] ["The Tenant League v. Common Sense" "Irish Quarterly Review" 1(1):25-45 (March, 1851)] . As a result, farming families who were changing farms would travel from the old farm to the new one on Lady Day. After the calendar change, "Old Lady Day" (April 6), the former date of the Annunciation, largely assumed this role. The date is significant in some of the works of Thomas Hardy, "e.g.", "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and "Far From the Madding Crowd".

The logic of using Lady Day as the start of the year is that it reckons years A.D. from the moment of the Incarnation, which is considered to take place at the moment of the conception of Jesus at the Annunciation rather than at the moment of his birth at Christmas. See also New Year.


ee also

*International Women's Day - 8 March
*Mother's Day
*Mothering Sunday
*National Women's Day
*Fiscal Year

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lady Day — 25 March, the day of the Annunciation, on which, according to Christian belief, the news was given to Mary by the Angel Gabriel that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ. Formerly, Lady Day was officially regarded as the first day of the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Lady Day — n. [< Our Lady Day] Brit. name for THE ANNUNCIATION (sense 2) (see phrase at ANNUNCIATION) …   English World dictionary

  • Lady Day — La dy Day (d[=a]) n. The day of the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, March 25. See {Annunciation}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lady Day — See quarter day. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • lady day — fish (Newfoundland) …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • Lady Day — ► NOUN ▪ the feast of the Annunciation, 25 March …   English terms dictionary

  • Lady Day — Billie Holiday Billie Holiday Portrait par Carl van Vechten, 1949 Alias Lady Day Nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lady Day — Billie Holiday, 1949 Foto: Carl van Vechten Billie Holiday, geboren als Elinore Harris,[1] (* 7. April 1915 in Philadelphia[2] † 17. Juli 1959 in New York Ci …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lady Day — 1. annunciation (def. 3). 2. one of various days celebrated in honor of the Virgin Mary. [1250 1300; ME oure lady day] * * * …   Universalium

  • Lady Day — noun a festival commemorating the announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary; a quarter day in England, Wales, and Ireland • Syn: ↑Annunciation, ↑Annunciation Day, ↑March 25 • Hypernyms: ↑quarter day • Part Holonyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”