Epiphany or the Jordan
Epiphany is the third and final big holiday Christmas and New Year's cycle, which is popularly known as Jordan, or Epiphany. Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Christians celebrate it on December 19, so it coincides with the feast of the Epiphany. However, the holidays should be distinguished.
With Epiphany baptism in the Jordan bind Christ. When Jesus reached the age of 30, he was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. When I got to the shore, he heard a voice from heaven, God the Father, who called Jesus his Son. And the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. Hence another name for the holiday - Epiphany. Orthodox and Greek-Catholics believe that this celebration confirms the mystery of the Holy Trinity. After all, in this day, according to Christian doctrine, God appeared in three persons: God the Father - in the voice of the Son of God - in the flesh, the Holy Spirit - in the form of a dove.
Feast of the Epiphany in the first centuries of Christianity was considered a rallying since touching a few events from the life of Jesus Christ, who showed his divinity, namely, the Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, the Baptism, the miracle at Cana, and the miraculous multiplication of bread. Therefore, the present name of the holiday, "Epiphany" is understood in the plural, because it means the celebration of the Holy Manifestations.
Epiphany and Holy Jordan water
At midnight before the Baptism river water was believed peasants worried. Were once lovers are making bold hidden that night went to the river to observe this phenomenon, but the river at that time, of course, covered by ice, and that there is under the ice - is unknown. Still, recruited from the river at midnight before water baptism - the healing, it was kept in the "knowing" of the peasants for the images in case of injury or serious illness.
A week before the baptism once bachelor community, and later some "experts" on the river cut a hole in the ice, an ice sawed large cross, placed it over the hole and poured beet kvass that was red. Built near the cross - also made of ice - the throne. All this decorated archway made of fir or pine branches - "Royal Doors."
Morning in the church is worship. After the service, a procession of all the people going to the river to cross. Ahead are the wooden church cross and banners, for chorus goes priest, putting a gold cross to the forehead, and the priest - the people. By the river on Epiphany are all: old, young and children. Everyone brings a bottle or jug of water. Guys still carry the pigeons, and the hunters - a gun. On the former Hetmanschina where else Cossack tradition does not die out, boys and young men went to the river on horseback, twisting in the Cossack white hats.
On the river near the cross the entire campaign stops and gets on the ice more colorful circle that emerges clearly from a distance on a background of white snow covers.
After a short service the priest dips into the hole cross. In turn, the hunters shoot the guns, and the guys let go of the pigeons that fly above the cloud "Jordan."
When the water is sanctified, people come up to the hole and gather in their water dishes. All those who came to "Jordan" horses - or on horseback, or on a sled - are gaining in buckets from the water hole and watered the horses - "to not be afraid of the disease and have been strong."
From the earliest times the Christian Church considers hallowed Jordanian water great holiness. It is held for a year, affectionately calling "some water-iordanichkoy." This water has the power to cleanse and heal the body and soul of man. Jordanian water is also sprinkled with house to circumvent any misfortune and well conducted in the home. Some priests are even convinced that there is no better medicine than holy water. And interestingly, the fact remains unclear, as the holy Jordan water does not go bad, does not stink, and can be stored for a long time. They say that, perhaps, silver work, which is on many crosses of the priest.
By the way, is more or less important church holidays are accompanied by the blessing of water. For the first time a person is immersed in holy water in baptism, usually shortly after birth. Thus he "updated" next to a decent life. Holy water is sure to be present during the consecration of churches, residential and commercial buildings, as well as all the items that are used during the service.
After the consecration of the water all the people returned to their homes. While the mother or eldest daughter will submit to the table for dinner, the father takes the image of the Mother of God because of the dry bunch of cornflowers, wets them svyachenoy sprinkles water and everything in the house and on the farm, and then takes another piece of chalk and wrote on the images of crosses, doors and shelves. Cope with this, the father sits at the table, and behind him and the whole family. Before the meal, drink holy water, it is believed that consecrated on Epiphany water should be used on an empty stomach, because it is on this condition, it has the greatest effect.
After dinner, the girls ran to the river to wash the "Jordan Water" - "to have pink faces." In areas of the Dnieper was once many beliefs and take related to "Jordan". So, when the procession went to the river, the "knowledgeable" people look out: if you make the banners fly sparrows - unlucky year for children, rooks - for young people, as the geese fly by, the old man of the year will be very ill, and even - God forbid , God - will die.
If the baptism of trees covered with frost in the spring on the corresponding day of the week - Friday, Saturday, and so on - must sow spring wheat, "freaks like wood!" If the baptism of a clear day, the sun, the bread in a given year shall be clean and, if gloomy, overcast sky - the bread will be a lot of "smut."
Ashes after Christmas can not be stored either in the house or in the yard, because "will fire", in the evening as it should be at Epiphany make the river and pour over ice.
At that point, the priest immerses the cross into the water, all the devils and every evil spirit jumps out of the river and stays on the ground for as long as some of the women would come to the river to wash clothes. When the dirty laundry down into the water, along with him dive into the water and all the devils that were freezing on the ground. So devout grandmother had never let their daughters-wash clothes for a whole week after the Epiphany - "that killed more evil forces of vodosvyatskih frost."
In Slobozhanschyna there is a belief that the day of Epiphany is such a moment, when the water turns into wine. The story: a merchant traveling with fairs and drove to the river horse to water, but instead of water he found the wine. Then the merchant drunk scored along the vessel and left. He did not go and one mile, as he wanted to drink wine again, but it was not necessary, because the vessel was already water: wine again turned to water.
In Poltava region was once the custom to teach the baptism of young horses and bulls. On young horses went as long as they do not sweat and sweaty sprayed "Jordan" water - "to have a healthy and obedient." If the evening meeting a wolf, you have to say, "Where are you, Wolf, was then, as Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan?" Wolf scared, run away and more on the eye appears.
In some areas of Podolia and Hutsul this day is holy "trinity" - three candles associated colorful scarf, beads and colored ribbons. This can even add cranberries and dried bunches of flowers - immortelle or cornflowers. With the "trinity" go to "Jordan" mostly women and girls. During divine "Trinity" is lit by candles on the altar. When the water is sanctified, before you go home, "Trinity" stew, candle dipping into the hole, where there was the consecration of water.
As we can see, "Jordan" or Epiphany - it is purely a Christian custom, came to us to Ukraine, along with Christianity, and became one of the most respected places of traditional festivals of our people.
And some people will take on Baptism:
• If all the sky is gloomy, then all the food to be born well, if only in the east - good freak rye, in the south - millet, in the north - buckwheat.
• If the day is clear and cold weather - in the dry summer, cloudy and snowy - the bountiful harvest.
• During the consecration of the water is snow - will be well swarming bees and ear of grain.
• If the day fell frost, then the corresponding day to sow wheat.
• It's snowing - a crop of buckwheat: morning - early in the afternoon - the middle, and at night - late. • If the baptism fell full month - to be big water.
• If this day nightlights - freaks nuts and berries.
• There is a fluffy snow - for the harvest.
• If the rain - will have plenty of bread.
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