Ukrainian winter traditions 2, the 1st-the15th of December
With the holiday of the The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, the 4th of December, the true winter starts. Much like with other big holidays, the first person to enter the house suggested the nearest future of the household, so people generally would abstain from visits not to be blamed for bringing bad luck. Lending something was also a bad omen. Late at night, some women would sit on the threshold undressed, spinning fibers gathered from wild hemp to ensure a good quality for yarn that year. Cows’ udders were rubbed with the oil of the plant so that they produce good milk. Starting about this date, it was believed that spirits of the dead were released back in the world to see their family and their own body.
St. Catherine’s feast, the 7th of December, is a day dedicated to the fate of maidens - young women prayed for marriage and performed divination. Traditionally, young people gathered for vechornytsi, where certain divinatory rites were performed, as well.
In that way St. Andrew’s feast (the 13th of December) is somewhat similar. On this day traditionally young men played tricks on the girls, scaring them with scarecrows or even stealing gates by their houses. During the vechornytsi, they all played a game called kalyta: a large flat bread, sweet but dry and solid, baked by the girls, is hung from the ceiling, high enough to be reached by a tall person only if they jump. Then “Sir Kaletynsky”, a man skilled in jokes, invites “Sir Kotsubynsky” to bite the kalyta. Sir
Kotsubynsky, riding a stick, has to jump up to reach the bread with his teeth. The job of
Sir Kaletynsky is to make him laugh, for then he looses -and to tug on the rope by which the bread is hanging so it is even higher.
I shall add that the 14th is Naum’s feast, when children were sent to school or to skilled professionals as apprentices and prayers for their intellectual success were said, and save descriptions of the divinatory rites for the next post.
Prayer to The Most Holy Theotokos for finding a husband/wife
Oh Pure Virgin, please help me to find someone that will love me with pure and unconditional love, someone that will bring me closer to Christ and to His Kingdom. Open the eyes of my soul in order to recognize him/her when I meet him/her, and do the same for him/her as well. Don’t let beauty or other external characteristics blind me and fall in love with the wrong man/woman that will break my heart, but allow this special person to find me in a moment of my life that I will be ready. Until the moment he/she finds me, keep him safe, healthy and happy. Amen.
Οctober 28 is a really important day for Greece. It’s both our national day and the day that we commemorate the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, who helped so much the faithful Greek Orthodox during the difficult days for Greece. She appeared many times in front of the exhausted soldiers to strengthen their faith and to give them courage. She protected Greece both invisibly and visibly and she interceded to our Lord Jesus Christ in order to help us.
So, I wish to all the Greeks to have a happy “Ochi Day” and to all the Orthodox Christians of the world, a blessed Feast of the Holy Protection of Virgin Mary!
“O much sorrowing Mother of God, more highly
exalted than all other maidens, according to thy purity and the multitude of
thy suffering endured by thee on earth: Hearken to our sighs and soften the
hearts of evil men, and protect us under the shelter of thy mercy. For we know
no other refuge and ardent intercessor apart from thee, but as thou hast great
boldness before the One who was born of thee, help and save us by thy prayers,
that without offense we may attain the Heavenly Kingdom where, with all the
saints, we will sing the thrice-holy hymn to One God Almighty in the Trinity,
always now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”
Prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God “The Softener of
“I ask every one of my fb friends to offer this
prayer at least once a day in their prayer rule. Most Holy Theotokos, save us!
(Anyone who does not understand that the Orthodox do not consider the Most Holy
Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary to be the Savior–only Jesus Christ is the
Savior–but that our prayer, ‘Most Holy Theotokos, save us!’ is an affirmation
of our belief that her action of giving birth to God in the flesh, in the
incarnation of her Son and God Jesus Christ, brings salvation to the world, is
invited to use their computer to google various Orthodox Christian sites for
further clarification.)” - Igumen Joseph
There are times we feel lonely, that we don’t have anyone that really loves us or care about us. I feel it too, the last few months I have felt it very often. But we have to remeber, there is someone. Someone who can’t be seen by human eyes, but can be felt in our hearts. Just like we feel the wind that is blowing, though we can’t see it.
Oh how much I need You God! I need You to remind me daily that you are here! I am too weak, too pride and full of passions, my prayer is not strong enough and I always forget You. Please be always by my side and don’t let me leave You! May Your Holy Mother, the Most Holy Theotokos and all the Saints pray for me in order to stop abandon You… I love You, even though I haven’t seen You. Please be there for me, always <3
“If we fervently desire holiness, the Holy Spirit at the outset gives
the soul a full and conscious taste of God’s sweetness, so the intellect
will know exactly of what the final reward of the spiritual life
This brought tears to my eyes.
“The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosened by Mary’s obedience. The bonds fastened by the virgin Eve through disbelief were untied by the virgin Mary through faith.”
~ St. Irenaeus
Please pray for our Orthodox Christian brothers in Ukraine! May God bless and protect the believers there and may the Most Holy Theotokos and the Saints help the people and the local Church! Our prayers are with you <3
Lake Baikal is an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Considered the deepest lake in the world, it’s circled by a network of hiking paths called the Great Baikal Trail. The village of Listvyanka, on its western shoreline, is a popular starting point for summertime wildlife-spotting tours, plus wintertime ice-skating and dog sledding.
St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral. It was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terribleand commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. A world-famous landmark, it was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852.
Then you have this
a 27 yr. old sexy genius figure skater from Russia,
that makes every fangirl squeal and go gaga over him.
I mean pls. look at him. he’s so fucking graceful and beautiful