Semyon Letprovodets: traditions and signs on Semenov Day
On September 14, the Orthodox world honors the memory of the Monk Simeon the Stylite, a Christian saint, an ascetic known for his selfless service to God and mankind. The people of this day is better known under the name «Semyon Letrovodets» or «Semenov Day.» According to the old style, it was celebrated on September 1 and marked not only the beginning of autumn, but also the beginning of the new year, and therefore entailed many rites and would take it.
Many traditions have survived to our time.
Ascetic feat of Simeon the Stylite
The beginning of the ascetic life of the saint dates back to the time of his youth. Simeon, who at the time was not even 18 years old, with all the forces of his soul, accepted the sermon of the old man, explaining to him the meaning of the commandments of Jesus Christ. At this point, the young man decided to retire to a deserted place and devote himself to serving God.
In the name of spiritual salvation, Simeon underwent severe physical hardship. For almost half a century, the saint spent in a cell located on a four-meter pillar, observing a strict fast and constantly praying. According to this Christian exploit, Simeon received the nickname “Stylite”.
According to the biography of the saint, God diligently rewarded God for his zealous ministry with the ability to deliver people from moral and physical ailments, as well as to anticipate future events.
The tradition of celebrating Semenov Day
Due to the fact that the saint’s commemoration day was at the beginning of the new year, Simeon was nicknamed the “Flyer” by the people. Among the Slavs, the Monk Simeon — Russified “Semyon” — was considered one of the most revered saints, because the day of his memory completed one life cycle and opened a new one.
The beginning of the new year was considered a favorable time for moving to a new home. There, on the eve of Semyonov’s day, animals were launched: according to the old belief, they expelled evil spirits. During the move, our ancestors always brought a cast-iron from the old house — the housekeeper, the keeper of the hearth, moved with him to the new dwelling.
On Semenov’s day, the owner must have walked around the whole house with icons.
In the family nests, on the evening before September 1, they extinguished the fire — only the lamps burned. It was barely starting to get light, the “new fire” was blown out in the furnace — it symbolized the beginning of the next year’s cycle, attracted happiness and prosperity to the house. It was believed that working with such lighting attracts wealth.
One of the most important ancient rites is the “tonsure” ritual, that is, the initiation of boys who have reached the age of three years, into men. A prayer service was served during the ceremony, a small tuft of hair was cut off at the top of the boys. The Godfather had to put the child on a horse and hold the horse by the bridle.
From that moment on, the boy began to be perceived as a future warrior and the father of the family, mostly men began to be engaged in his education.
On the Semenov day there was a very interesting tradition to bury the flies. The funeral flies symbolized the farewell to the summer. In addition, sweeping flies out of the hut at the beginning of the year was committed to get rid of quarrels and domestic problems.
Semyonov day is traditionally associated with the beginning of the Indian summer. The weather at this time predicted what the autumn will be. If Indian summer began with inclement weather, then autumn will be rainy.
If it is a clear day, autumn promises to be windy.
From Semyonov’s day they stopped mowing the grass and sowing the fields. Hard work on a holiday was considered a sin. It was rumored that at night the devil would come to count the sparrows, so you should not get involved in field work.
The beginning of the new year was a good time to enter into transactions and contracts. It was believed that the agreement concluded on the seeds of the Letvoditsa will bring many benefits.
We have long been celebrating the New Year on January 1, and Semenov instead of September 1 falls on 14 in a new style. However, you should remember the customs that accompany the day of the memory of the saint, and contribute to the preservation of well-being and prosperity in your home. Maintain tradition and do not forget to press buttons and