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The Feast of Saint Catherine and The Catherinettes – November 25th

November 24, 2010

Milliners around the globe are injecting a renewed sense of vitality in their celebration of Saint Catherine’s Day, the day honoring the patron saint of milliners.

Traditionally celebrated on November 25th, the feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria harkens back centuries to when young, unmarried girls prayed to Saint Catherine to find them husbands.  In honor of their patron saint and protector, these girls would “cap” their statues of Saint Catherine with lovely hats on November 25th.  In France, women who were still unmarried by age 25 were labeled “Catherinettes”  and were celebrated (and prayed for) on St. Catherine’s Day.

Once a widespread practice, this custom has mostly died out in modern times due to cultural shifts in thinking about women and marriage.  French women, however, still proudly celebrate their Catherinette status by wearing hats of yellow (faith) and green (wisdom) and parading around town to the local statue of Saint Catherine, “capping” her with a lovely chapeau.

The millinery trade naturally retained the tradition and now, with the rise in popularity of millinery in fashion, millinery groups around the world are reviving the celebration on a larger scale, using it to generate interest in millinery and promote a sense of playful mischief.

Click these links to read a couple of interesting articles about the history of Saint Catherine and the modern practice of the Catherinettes in Paris.

This year, the Feast of Saint Catherine falls on the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  Why not kill two birds with one stone and give thanks for all things hatty while wearing a yellow and green turkey hat on your head?!  🙂

Happy Saint Catherine’s Day, y’all!


As always, please feel free to comment on this post below.  If you like what you see here, subscribe to this blog for more great millinery stuff!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 4:12 am

    Happy St Catherine’s Day to you too (and thank you for your amusing and informative blogs!)

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