Ilyin Day is celebrated in a new style on 2 August. It belongs to the enduring holidays, and it is dedicated to the great prophet Elijah, who was an ardent opponent of paganism and actively fought with him. It is believed that Elijah came to replace Perun, therefore, to this day he is represented as galloping on a fiery chariot drawn by four white horses.
Many nations worship the saint, and the holiday itself is associated with many traditions and beliefs that are transmitted through generations.
According to history, the prophet Elijah was born in the XI century. BC er in the city of tuesvia. Even before this event, his father had a dream in which angels rocked the baby in their arms and fed him with heavenly fire. This was a real prophecy — the child grew up and became a true bearer of faith.
After Elijah entered a conscious age, he went to the wasteland, where he lived for many years, observed a strict fast and constantly offered prayers.
During the life of a saint in Israel, King Ahab ruled in all respects and he obeyed his power-hungry and cruel spouse. She tried to implant faith in Astarte and Baal.
Elijah was an ardent minister of faith and tried to guide the ruler on the true path, but nothing helped, he was not scared even by a drought for three years and hunger, which the prophet foreshadowed.
After the end of the three-year famine, the prophet Elijah again turned to the Israelites and offered to conduct a kind of experiment confirming the true faith. He decided to install two altars on Mount Carmel — one to God, the other to Baal — and see which of them comes down on the fire that will receive the sacrificial animal.
That was done. All day the pagan priests prayed to their god in the hope of a miracle, but he did not happen.
In the evening a new altar was erected, on which a sacrificial animal was laid. Elijah poured water on the wood so that no one would think that he himself sets fire to them.
The prayer he offered was heard, and the sacred fire burned not only the sacrifice and the altar, but also stones with water. Soon the heavy rain began, which the dry soil had been waiting for. The Israelites were overwhelmed by the power of the Lord and turned to the true faith.
Many believers believe that the Lord took the prophet alive to him. And his disciple Elisha told how Elijah rose into the sky in a chariot of fire.
The first celebrations of Ilie began in the 10th century AD. er On this day, people staged performances, feasts and rested. Work on a holiday was prohibited.
The Great Prophet is considered the patron saint of warriors and soldiers, and it is he who is entreated to prayers before military speeches.
In Ilyin, the day was a real holiday. Preparing for it long before the start.
For a whole week women prepared various dishes that were put on the festive table. Men drove the sacrificial cattle to the temple on this day, near which the priests sprinkled it with holy water and solemnly slaughtered them so that the harvest would be good.
The sacrifice of livestock was a kind of divination. If at that moment it started to rain, the sacrifice was considered accepted and the year would be fruitful.
The most popular rituals of Ilyin of the day are digging up potatoes for a rich harvest and distributing food to those in need for wealth and a full life. On the holiday table there must be meat dishes and a lot of freshly baked bread, so that Illya sees that he is being glorified.
Until the morning, people danced round the fire, jumped over it and made predictions in this way. It was believed that if the couple jumped over the fire together, then this year they will have a child and will live happily all year.
In the people this day is considered to be the junction of two seasons. It was at this time that the hot summer ended and a cool and rainy autumn began. It was just before Ilyin’s day that it was necessary to finish haymaking, and after it they set about harvesting.
It’s not for nothing that people say sayings: “Winter is fighting for Elijah with summer”, “Summer is for Eliya before lunch, autumn is after lunch”, “Ilya Begins stubble, summer ends«.
But there are a number of other signs:
- To get under the rain that day meant to stock up on health for a whole year.. Rainwater in Ilyin Day is considered useful and healing. It was decided to collect it in jugs and store the whole year. It was used in the treatment of many diseases.
- It is impossible to stand in water in a thunderstorm and rain on August 2, stand under a tree. It was also forbidden to make noise, shoot and run. Thunderstorms had to wait out at home, close all windows and doors. Orthodox should at this time pray before the icons and ask the prophet for help and protection.
- Work in the field and garden was prohibited. This work was considered in vain — the harvest and the fruits could rot, hay burned down, and cattle — to tear the wolves. But the apiary was allowed to do, because church candles were made of wax.
- It was forbidden to swim after Ilyin day. And this belief has several interpretations. It is believed that on this day Illya put a piece of ice into the water, and the one who bathes will start to get very sick or get boils all over his body. There is also a belief that at this time the water was spoiled by the devil and it could harm a person. And according to the third belief, on this day the mermaids return to the rivers and lakes and can drag the bather with them.
- On Ilyin’s day, the rumble of thunder and lightning sparkle often all night long. If this is accompanied by heavy rains, there will be a good harvest, and if there is no rain, then a large number of fires should be expected.
All these folk signs and customs are passed down from generation to generation. Not all of them are respected, but most people still believe in them.
According to beliefs, Elijah is the expression of the wrath of the Lord. It is he who punishes sinners, fights against evil forces and evil demons, directs his arrows at them.
The people considered the prophet a good saint who was responsible for fertility and harvest.
Elijah is the master of the weather, and therefore it was he who was prayed for rain during the drought and for the sunny day during the rainy season. To pious peasants, he helps and he waters their fields with a grace-filled rain, but hail sends those who do evil and lewdness.
To protect livestock from animals, a protective ritual was performed. To do this, animals were smoked with incense, they also protected buildings from fires.
Another ritual helped protect crops and bread from hail. To do this, in the morning, the hostess offered a treat from the window — bread and salt, which in the evening of the same day belonged to the river and went down into the water.
Many may call such actions superstition, but it is commonly believed that on this day evil spirits flee from the arrows of the prophet and hide in the bodies of animals. Therefore, the cattle should not be let out into the street. And the owners were preparing guns and always kept them ready, in time to kill the wild animals that were trying to penetrate the fence.
If they did not have time to do it, then it was thought that misfortune had come to the house and an evil spirit settled in it.
On Ilyin Day, many girls utter conspiracies and prayers that help to find happiness and prosperity. Young mothers tried to wash the baby in rain water on this day in order to give their baby health for the whole year.
It was on this day that one could charm a boy forever. To do this, you need to get up early in the morning and go to the river and not say a word to anyone. On the shore, you should take a stone, tie your hair to it and lower it into the water with the words:
“I was a servant of God (name) threw a stone far, threw a stone deep. Do not swim to it, do not reach.
So the servant of God (name) would not leave me either to the depth of the river, or to the length of my foot. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now and ever and forever and ever.
Also read the conspiracy on health. To do this, collect the grass under the three bushes on which the birds were sitting.
With grass, you need to go home and put it in a pot of water. Put the container on the fire and, stirring with a knife, say the following words over it:
«Ilyin’s grass of the day,
Taken from three places, crumpled with the left hand.
I twist the knife, I spell saying
Take away and lock the power of this day
For the cure, from the bodily aches of deliverance.
My word is strong and easy.
If someone in the family suffers from epileptic seizures, then this ailment can be cured in the following way. On the night before the holiday, you need to sew together the back of a men’s shirt and before a women’s one.
In the morning a sick person should put the received thing on himself and look in the mirror. After that, you can pronounce the words of the spell:
«Not in the female, not in the male,
Not in a shirt, but in rags.
As the human world remembers Ilyin’s day,
So is God’s servant (name)
From this day will be alive and well, like Ilya.
How Elijah the prophet was healed and glorified
So the servant of God (name) may be healed. Amen».
For prosperity in the house they read the following conspiracy, which helped them to gain success in commerce and help the family live a comfortable life. The words were pronounced over the poppy, which was stored in the house or at the outlet all year round:
«Ilya is generous, be generous with my poppy so much
So that he gave me a penny,
Pyatak narodil ten,
Dozens of people would give me wealth.
Key, lock, tongue. Amen.
To find harmony, prosperity and happiness in the house, it was necessary to go around the yard in a circle with the words:
«Damn evil is extremely rich,
You don’t touch my yard,
You do not disturb my hut and relatives
If you are not afraid of my wrath,
You will be afraid of Elijah the prophet
Give thunder Elijah the prophet
To completely sly wet.
Found lightning and rains upon him,
To forever enemy horned
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Now and ever and forever and ever. Amen».
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