Saint Elijah is the only one of the prophets who was taken alive into the Kingdom of Heaven, and the only one of the Old Testament prophets who is recognized by the Orthodox Church.
The prophet Elijah is highly revered among all the Saints, despite his severity. It is Elijah who protects the fulfillment of human and divine laws – he is harsh to sinners, but generous to the righteous.
Saint Elijah is considered the lord of lightning – after the adoption of Christianity in Russia, the image of the prophet replaced the god of thunder Perun, who was revered by the ancient Slavs. Therefore, many traditions and signs are associated with the holiday among the people.
Sputnik Georgia tells what you can’t do on Ilyin’s Day, as well as about the traditions and signs of the holiday.
What can not be done on Ilyin’s day?
Ilyin’s day was considered the calendar border of summer – from that day the first signs of autumn already appear in nature. According to tradition, starting from August 2, it was no longer possible to swim in the reservoirs. Logically, this is explained by the fact that the water at this time of summer begins to bloom actively, mud and duckweed rise – it is still possible to swim, but already unpleasant.
Therefore, the people said that Elijah spoiled the water – he wrote in the ponds.
According to popular beliefs, starting from August 2, you cannot swim in open reservoirs, as you can incur misfortune and harm your health.
The people believed that after Ilyin’s day the reservoirs were teeming with evil spirits. Mermaids, water, and other river spirits become uncontrollable – they swim and move out. Therefore, you can drown from a convulsion or rupture of the heart, as well as pick up warts and other river ailments.
According to signs, on Ilyin’s day, animals and reptiles go out and crawl out of their holes and wander through meadows and forests, so you cannot release the cattle into the meadow so that predators do not tear it to pieces and snakes sting.
On Ilyin’s day, you cannot do housework and household chores. Also, you can not sew and knit.
You can’t insult people on Ilyin’s day, especially relatives and friends. On Ilyin’s day you cannot fish and eat.
According to signs, on a holiday it was impossible to shout, swear and scold while standing under a tree – the people believed that lightning on this day could strike a sinner. It is also impossible to stand at the crossroads, since various evil spirits gather there.
The main thing that cannot be done on this day is swearing, brawling, and alcohol abuse. You need to spend the holiday with good thoughts and an open heart.
Traditions and signs of the holiday
Celebrating the holiday began the day before – according to tradition, they baked ceremonial cookies, stopped doing field work and tried to protect their home from rain, hail and lightning, and themselves from illness and the evil eye with the help of various ritual actions.
In the popular imagination, Saint Elijah is, on the one hand, stern, formidable, punishing, in his submission rains, thunder, lightning, on the other – generous, giving, as he sends fertility to the earth. Therefore, they pray to the Holy One for the gift of rain during a drought.
According to signs, if it rains on Ilyin’s day, it is believed that there will be few fires and the next year’s harvest will be rich.
It was also believed that on Ilyin’s day, all the evil spirits, fleeing from the prophet’s fiery arrows, turns into various animals – hares, foxes, cats, dogs, wolves, and so on. In this regard, a tradition has been established on Ilyin’s day not to let dogs and cats into the house, so as not to bring a thunderstorm and lightning to the house.
On Ilyin’s day, according to tradition, the hunting season began, since from that day animal holes, in particular wolf holes, opened in the forests. If on Ilyin’s day it was possible to get a “gray”, it is a sign that luck will accompany the whole season.
On Ilyin’s Day in Russia, according to tradition, it was customary to arrange religious processions and pray for a suitable weather for field work, for a harvest, for protection from the evil eye and diseases.
By Ilyin’s day, according to tradition, the first loaves were baked from the grain of the new harvest, which were eaten by the whole village.
Material prepared on the basis of open sources