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The Feast of the Annunciation in 2023 falls on Friday, April 7th. In the Orthodox calendar, the date set is constant, it does not change like other church events. In the liturgical cycle, the holiday is ranked among the great twelfth events. The celebration is connected with the good news of the Virgin Mary, sent by God, about her destiny to give birth to the Savior of mankind.

History of the holiday

The event became a church celebration in the VI century, the Byzantine emperor Justinian fixed the date of celebration on March 25, or April 7 in a new style. The first mention of the Annunciation was in the II century. Where a great event supposedly happened, a special building stands in Nazareth.

Mary, the future Mother of God, was brought up in the temple of Jerusalem, where her parents sent her from the age of three. According to the promise of the Almighty, she remained a Virgin. Mary's life with her named husband Joseph was modest.

The appearance of an angel to Mary with the good news is described by the Evangelist Luke. "Rejoice, Blessed One! The Lord is with you, ”the first words of the Archangel Gabriel that the Mother of God heard. At first, Mary was afraid that she was about to give birth to the Messiah, but, having shown humility, she accepted God's will: “May it be to Me according to your word.”

In the Orthodox Church, with the conception of a son, Mary beganatone for the fall of Eve, the progenitor of mankind. The date of the Annunciation on April 7 is directly related to the Nativity of Christ on January 7, since there is a period of nine months between them for bearing a baby. For believers, the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos is a sign of the incarnation of the Lord in the world of people, the beginning of deliverance from sin, the death associated with it.

In some countries, the countdown of the new year began from the day of the church holiday. So, for example, it was introduced in England until the middle of the 18th century.

Features of the celebration

Priests on the day of the Annunciation put on festive blue vestments. From Great Compline, an all-night vigil is held in churches. Believers visit temples, pray.

There is a tradition on the day of the holiday to release doves to freedom. So people hope that the birds will fly to the guardian angels, inform about all the good things that have been done in a year.

Christians believe that on the day of the Annunciation the heavens open, the Lord hears the requests of a person, helps in big things. Orthodox relics on the holiday endow a person with strength, so many believers make a pilgrimage to holy places.

In the old days, on April 7, according to popular beliefs associated with paganism, spring was “called out”. The custom of kindling bonfires on a holiday was filled with a special meaning - it was believed that winter was burned in a flame. Old things, utensils, straw, cow dung were thrown into the fire. It was believed that all diseases and misfortunes were burned in the fire.

The hostesses prepared Annunciation s alt that day. In a poucheach member of the family threw a pinch of s alt, which was calcined on fire, kept as a talisman, protection from diseases. If the s alt did not come in handy for a year, then it was burned in the fire. Christians believed in the power of sacred water, which was brought from the solemn service.

On a holiday, the family certainly gathered at a common table. Although the date of the celebration falls on Great Lent, the Orthodox Church gives a slight relief - Christians can eat fish, seafood, hot food with vegetable oil, you can put wine on the table. The only exception is the time when the Annunciation falls on Holy Week. Then not only fish, but also dairy products are excluded from the diet.

Prohibitions on the day of the Annunciation

Signs and beliefs are associated with the belief that a person's life is like a thread controlled by the Lord or guardian angels. Therefore, there are prohibitions on sewing, knitting, embroidery, braiding, because when the heavens open, the threads can be accidentally mixed up, changing the fate of loved ones.

On the holiday it is not customary to do routine household chores, heavy physical labor. It is considered a bad omen to lend money on this day, so you can lose peace and prosperity.

Prohibitions apply to marriages on the Annunciation. The church recommends postponing the date of the wedding, as the holiday aims at abstinence and repentance.

The Mother of God in the Russian tradition is the main intercessor of all women, so the celebration was considered Women's Day. It was impossible to quarrel, be offended, swear. On a bright holiday thoughtsmust be pure, good intentions, then every Christian will discover the joy of life.

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