The feast of the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an important traditional quarter day particularly in the rural calendar. Historically Lady Day was one of two main dates in the year when farm holdings changed hands – the other being Michaelmas Day (29 September). These two days fall between ploughing and harvesting on farms hence convenient in the rural world. Lady Day tends to be more relevant to livestock farms being the end of the winter season when cattle are either ready to be sold or turned out to grass and the stores of winter fodder of hay and silage are coming to an end. Work to the fields for the spring and summer use has yet to begin. Therefore it is the most appropriate time for the farm to change hands.
Nowadays it tends to be more relevant for the collection of rent between landlord and tenant as a more flexible farming regime has caused farms to change hands at almost any time of year.
Nevertheless, Lady Day remains a strong date in the farming world.