Saint Catherine’s Day in France and Canada – When unmarried women 25 and over would Wear Green and Yellow Hats

St. Catherine lived in the late 3rd and early 4th century in Alexandria. The legend is that she visited the Emperor Maximinus II who was persecuting Christians at the time and pleaded with him to stop. The emperor put before her many scholars to debate her point. She ended up converting many of them to Christianity. The emperor eventually had her beheaded, on November 25 (which is the day St. Catherine’s is celebrated). She died a virgin and a martyr and is now the patron saint of philosophers and of women who are yet to be married.

St. Catherine’s Day is a celebration that dates back to the middle ages. It celebrates women who have reached 25 years old and are not yet married. They’re called Catherinettes. The name Catherine has its roots in the Greek name Katharos, which means pure.

For St. Catherine’s Day the Catherinettes would pray for a husband. They would also make wild yellow and green hats, which they would wear all day. The yellow symbolizes faith and the green knowledge. The hats could be quite elaborate and they were supposed to demonstrate the Catherinettes’ personalities.

St. Catherine's Day Hat

Nowadays, it seems St. Catherine’s Day is mainly celebrated in fashion schools, fashion houses and at companies that make hats. All of the employees can make their own hats in honor of the occasion.

This article was posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2005 at 11:47 pm and is filed under Canada, France, Holidays Around the World, Mama Lisa, St. Catherine's Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Saint Catherine’s Day in France and Canada – When unmarried women 25 and over would Wear Green and Yellow Hats”

  1. Rowena Says:

    Ummm not so, I have lived here for 30 years and have seen and participated in the creation of the Catherine’s hts, which are worn throughout the day (work and all) with great pride and excitement (especially with the hope of bagging a beau at the same time) :-)

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