Traditions of Russian Orthodox Christians
Today I would like to talk about the traditions of Russian Orthodox Christians. January 19 at the Orthodox feast of Epiphany. The rite of baptism of Christ at his request was performed by John the Baptist. During the ceremony on the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove.
The celebration begins on the night of January 18th. On the day before the Feast of Epiphany, a strict fast must be observed. On the eve of the holiday, ice-holes are prepared on rivers and lakes, and a cross carved from ice is placed nearby. On Epiphany night, a prayer service is held here, after which everyone plunges headlong into the icy water.
The main attribute of the feast of Epiphany was consecrated or, as it is more commonly called, holy water. Consecrated water was taken in temples and “sanctified” houses with it, spraying walls, doors and windows from a birch broom. The people believed that Epiphany water has cleansing and healing properties. For example, it was customary for a patient on an empty stomach to give a piece of church prosphora soaked in holy water. In every Orthodox family, a small amount of holy water was kept in reserve and used, if necessary, for another year (and sometimes two) until the next feast of Epiphany. Since ancient times, many folk signs have been associated with the Feast of Epiphany. Here are some of them:
If the weather is clear and cold on Epiphany, the summer will be dry, if it is cloudy and fresh, it will lead to a bountiful harvest.
Many stars – the summer will be dry, the harvest will be peas and berries.
On Epiphany, a thaw is for harvest, and a clear day for Epiphany is for crop failure.
The wind will blow from the south – it will be a thunderous summer.
For the young, Epiphany was the best day to agree on a wedding: “Epiphany handshaking is for a happy family.”
People baptized on January 19, according to popular beliefs, will be happy all their lives.
On Epiphany, quarrels, bad thoughts and deeds should be avoided. It is forbidden to be angry with loved ones, swear, complain and gossip, regardless of the circumstances.
At the same time, on the Feast of Epiphany, everyone will have a good opportunity to forgive old grievances and make peace with loved ones. Another ban concerns work – on Epiphany, as well as on other great Orthodox holidays, any physical labor is prohibited, in addition to light cleaning. In particular, you can not embroider, knit, do anything around the house.
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