1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Annunciation

ANNUNCIATION, the announcement made by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary of the incarnation of Christ (Luke i, 26-38). The Feast of the Annunciation in the Christian Church is celebrated on the 25th of March. The first authentic allusions to it are in a canon, of the council of Toledo (656), and another of the council of Constantinople “in Trullo” (692), forbidding the celebration of all festivals in Lent, excepting the Lord’s day and the Feast of the Annunciation. An earlier origin has been claimed for it on the ground that it is mentioned in sermons of Athanasius and of Gregory Thaumaturgus, but both of these documents are now admitted to be spurious. A synod held at Worcester, England (1240), forbade all servile work on this feast day. See further Lady Day.