Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: holiday history, dates
Every self-respecting Christian (and even some atheists) happily celebrates Christmas. Anyone ask, everyone knows when such a holiday is celebrated.
But not everyone knows about the birthday of His mother.
The priest in our church is always deeply distressed about this, considering the feast of the Virgin Mary to be also a very important event in the spiritual life of the world. That’s what I learned from him, as well as from many old parishioners …
Holiday history: how everything is described in the holy books
It is interesting that in the New Testament there is not a word about the birth of the Eternity. Everything that we now know about the holiday is described in the Proto-Evangelical James (this is an apocrypha, that is, the holy book, written later than the New Testament, in the 2nd century, and supplementing it).
In short, the story of Mary’s family is:
- Her parents are Joachim (Joahim, Joachim of David’s family) and Anna of Nazareth. This couple lived to respectable years, was very God-loving — a couple gave their church 2/3 of their annual profits to help the poor as well. The only thing — they had no children.
- One day, when Joachim brought his gifts to the church, the priest did not accept them. He said: since the Lord does not bless Joachim with children, it means that for something he is angry with this man.
- Joachim was very wounded by these words. From the church he did not go home, but into the wilderness. He decided that he would pray to the Lord for the child, and if He did not answer, then he would have no reason to return home.
- When Anna was told about the decision of her husband, she was very upset because she believed that it was she who was to blame for the troubles of their family. She also began to pray for the message of the child, promising to give him to church. As soon as she spoke these words, an angel appeared to her. Heavenly messenger told that soon Anna will have a daughter. She will be above all earthly women. You need to call her Mary.
- At the same time, another angel visited Joachim, bringing him happy news. The elder returned home.
- When their daughter celebrated her third birthday, she was really sent to the temple. A year after that, Saint Joachim died. His wife Anna survived him for three years. So when Mary turned 12 years old and she, having become an adult by the standards of that time, left the church, she was already an orphan.
- A particle of the house in which the couple of the Mother of God lived still exists in Jerusalem. At that place a monastery was erected in honor of the saints. It can be found in the Muslim quarter of the old city near the gates of St. Stephen. On its first floor, the Church of the Virgin is built, to which many pilgrims flock every year. Looks like a holy place like this:
- By the way, this place is revered only by Orthodox Christians. Catholics are sure that the real home of Joachim and Anna was in a slightly different place. 70 meters from the Orthodox monastery you can see the Basilica of St. Anne — according to Catholics, it is located on the site of the present house of the Mother of God.
You will learn more about the lives of Saints Joachim and Anna, Mary’s childhood and youth from this detailed, very informative documentary:
The official date of the celebration is September 21. This date is uninterrupted, that is, every year does not change.
It was established by the church a long time ago — as early as the 6th century.
Although in fact, Orthodox Christians are beginning to celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin 20 more numbers. Celebration ends September 25.
As for Catholics, they celebrate this day on September 8.
By the way! Several more church dates are associated with the name of the Virgin.
- A little-known holiday of the Conception of the Virgin. It is celebrated on December 9 (22).
- The introduction of the Virgin in the temple (November 21 or December 4). As it is known, little Mary was 3 years old that day. By the way, this event was not something out of the ordinary — at that time many children were sent to churches for service.
- The Annunciation — the feast glorifies the day when the Archangel Gabriel came to the Virgin with the news that she would soon give birth to the Son of God. The holiday date is March 25 or April 7.
- And one more date, this time not joyful, but sad: on August 28, Christians remember the assumption of the Virgin Mary (the day on which she left her earthly life).
Modern traditions and rituals associated with the Nativity of the Virgin
Of course, most of all these traditions are no longer a church, but a popular part of the holiday. But such traditions do not violate church rules, and the very day of the Nativity of the Virgin is made more interesting for the whole family, more fun.
- Confession. It is worth to clear the soul on the eve of the holiday — so you will meet the Nativity of the Virgin with a pure heart.
- Collect / buy a bouquet for the mother. In many countries, this day is considered one of the Mother’s Days. Even if your country is wrong, your mother deserved that you come to her house with a gift, even a purely symbolic one, right?
- Burning old, outdated shoes. The cold part of autumn is coming, people need to sew / buy their shoes warmer. And the old, trampled — into the fire, so that the house does not accumulate trash.
- Bathing children. If on this day the kids arrange a “bathhouse”, they will be healthy, and their spirit will be strong.
- Divination on the church candle. This divination (like other folk magic, even at first glance completely innocent), the church does not approve. But still our ancestors (adult women) did this: cut out flowers from paper, write down one wish on each petal. In the center of the flower they passed a church candle and placed it in the church. Praying before this candle, they watched which of the petals would light up first — such a desire should have been fulfilled.
Signs of this day
- If the weather is good this day, then the whole autumn will be sunny and warm, and winter — with frequent thaws.
- Are birds flying high on this day? This is also a good sign, promising a quiet, warm autumn.
- Do birds fly over the earth? And this is already bad — it means that the winter will be very cold. And the fall will not be set, so in the winter it is necessary to tighten the belt more tightly.
What not to do on this holiday
- Eat meat. This is a lean holiday.
- Chop wood, wash and so on. In general, no physically hard work.
- Swear. Try to keep your soul clean: do not wish evil to anyone, do not argue, do not shout.
Prayers that are usually read on this day
On this day, a solemn chant (troparion), praising the Holy Mother of God, is offered in the church. You can read it at home. It sounds like this:
Read and personal prayer to the Virgin:
And the holy Mother of God pray this way (this prayer is mostly read by people who dream of a child):
And many Orthodox (and Catholics with Protestants too) happily congratulate each other on this bright holiday, sending SMS or postcards.
Many do it automatically or for show … Do not need this, because the feast of the Virgin is not the day of the doctor! Do it sincerely, from the heart, imbued with the holiness of this day.
This song, written specially for this holiday, will help you to tune in a truly festive mood:
Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.