The Presentation of the Holy Virgin in the Temple
Introduction (Introduction to the Church of Our Lady) is one of the twelve great religious holidays. With the feast of which is celebrated the church on December 4, in the Ukrainian national calendar begins the cycle of winter holidays. In the Rivne region said: "The introduction comes the holidays will bring."
That came after December 4, a number of very popular among the people of holidays: Catherine, Andrew, Barbara, Savva, Nicholas, Anna, and, finally, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany.
Called the feast of the Immaculate in the people of the Third, because it was dedicated to and associated with the Blessed Virgin. In the feast of the church calendar got to VIII century and became a celebrated Byzantine church from the IX century. To do this, Gregory Nikomediyskim (IX cent.) Was specially enclosed office and Sinai kanonar (a collection of church laws) and IX-X century feast of presents under the title "Mother of God, which they had brought into the temple of God, when it had been three years" .
According to church tradition, the apocryphal "Book of James" (which has been repeatedly banned both Eastern and Western Church as bad) and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew "On Christmas Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary," we learn that, supposedly, the parents of the Virgin Mary Saints Joachim and Anna, being childless, promised, as they will have a baby, then give it to the service of God in the temple of Jerusalem. God heard their prayers and gave them to her daughter. And when she was three years old, his parents brought her to the church and placed in the hands of the high priest Zechariah. Holy Mother of God was here for many years, until, as an adult girl, was engaged to St. Joseph.
Here is the official version. Although, as we see, feast of looks like something unnatural and alien to our people, because not based on Christian, but in the Old Testament and apocryphal texts.
We did this festival is interesting primarily because it tied to ancient Ukrainian pre-Christian customs and ceremonies. All of them were based on the annual agricultural cycle, and Ukrainian peasants were known to the ancient "life's rules."
After the introduction, and it was impossible to Annunciation dig, because "she is resting and gaining strength for the summer," "From the introduction to the ninth Thursday (ninth Thursday after Christmas) can not beat the linen Valko, as it will damage the field and leads the summer storm on the field" , "Cannabis should be rubbed until the introduction, but the one who rubs them after the festival, courted the storm on the field, but for themselves - from people disregard."
Oleksa Voropai in his book "The customs of our people," gives an example, in his opinion, folk etymology: Introduction to Slobozhanschyna called Vision. The peasants believed that on this day God let the righteous souls look at your body, and therefore the Vision.
But we can assume that it is not nothing but a quiet and unconscious echo of the archaic cult of ancestors, was in the depths of the cultural and genetic memory of our people, for which the introduction - is native Ukrainian tradition of worship and veneration of the Great Goddess.
As noted by Oleksa Voropai in his book, the beginning of the new financial year in Vvedensky beliefs appears quite clearly. Who in the morning of the first day will come to the house, he will be the first "polaznikom." First polaznik brings home good luck or bad luck. When will the first young, handsome, healthy man, and besides, with the money - a good sign. When will the old, the sick, especially the old, or when someone will take something - an evil sign. To protect yourself from such casual visitors, the owners sometimes try to enter early in the home of his "polaznika": ox, heifer, sheep - a kind of embodiment of peasant welfare.
In the eastern regions of Ukraine until recently maintained the custom of "girls witches' holy water on the night of introduction. Took water in a place where three water - for example, three streams merge into one channel. Collect water in a jug, lit two logs, and when the fire blazed well, kept them in an earthen bowl, and the water poured so that it was between two fires. While some said the spell. They believed that such a "holy" water suitable for the "involvement" of boys to them.
About this consecrated water Oleksa Voropai heard on Umanschine, and in other places Naddnepryanskoy Ukraine. Also old told him how once women sat naked at midnight on the eve of the porch door and spun hemp volunteer to "yarn went into my hand." In Podolia morning Introduction women showered their cows to families (hemp seeds) and treated by oil bag to give a lot of milk. In the central regions of Ukraine, Podolia, specially cooked flour thick kyselica and gave the cows - that was a thick cream. In some villages were fumigated cows fragrant potion, saying different spells, so that no one chose "living creatures."
In many villages of Ukraine guessed by various signs, trying to guess what the next year - for the Ukrainians of farmers is important to know how to harvest the following year. "How much for the introduction of water, so much grass on Yuri", "How is the water in the introduction, it will be in a bowl of milk", "as the introduction builds bridges, and Nicholas nailed a bitter winter will be."
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