Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: Church traditions and folk customs
The Presentation of the Lord is a Christian Great Feast celebrated on February 15th. The word “meeting” from Old Slavonic means “meeting”, and, like many other holidays, Orthodox customs and pagan traditions are associated with it.
In the Christian understanding, the Presentation is the day when the Savior in infancy was first brought to the temple of God. In folk memory, the holiday is also viewed as a precursor of warmth, a meeting of winter and spring.
Signs of the Presentation
At the Meeting of the Lord there are many signs that determine the yield of the year. For example, a frosty day promises a late and cold spring; abundance of snow in the morning promises early bread, and in the evening — late. It is believed that drops at the meeting promise a good harvest of grain, and snow — rainy spring.
On this day, for the first time after winter, the peasants took cattle from the barns to the pens and prepared the seeds for sowing. Poultry fattened, that would be better carried throughout the year. The candle brought from the church on this day was used as a charm, and the holy water was endowed with healing properties. In pagan time, grandiose bonfires were lit at the outskirts of the roads, which were later replaced by a loud candle.
It could do together eight to ten yards. It was believed that if you take it with you for plowing, sowing or harvesting, it will protect against pests and help you get a good harvest.
Ritualistic fistfights were organized at Candlemas. Men were divided into two groups, one of which was dressed in fur coats, and the other — in caftans. Depending on the victory of one or another, it was predicted whether spring would come soon and warmly come.
It is customary to light candles at divine services on February 15. This holiday is associated with the purification of the soul from all filth, therefore the candle, as a symbol of the blessing of the soul by the Holy Spirit, personifies the Meeting of the Lord.
In spite of the fact that the celebration is dedicated directly to the Savior, in its liturgical content, it is very close to the holidays Borborodichnye. His duality is traced by the events themselves described in the Gospel: after the infant Christ was brought to the temple, the prediction came to pass and Simeon the God-bearer, the righteous, who met the Holy Family, died. Thus, at one moment the old and the new, life and death, converge.
The name also reflects the meeting of man with God.
The main chants are: Troparion (voice 1), Kontak (voice 1), Zadostoynik and Glorification. The icon dedicated to this event — «Softener of evil hearts.» Otherwise, it is called «Simeon Proverb.»
The Presentation of the Lord is considered one of the most important Christian holidays. It combines old folk signs and traditions of Orthodoxy. Let this bright day be good for you and give you only positive signs. Have a nice holiday, bless you and don’t forget to press the buttons and