Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in 2017
The Annunciation is one of the 12 most important church holidays. This bright event is celebrated exactly 9 months before, namely, April 7th. The Annunciation is an uninterrupted holiday, and therefore the date of its celebration is the same every year. Catholics celebrate the Annunciation on the Gregorian calendar on March 25th.
On this day, a slight indulgence is allowed for those who adhere to Lent - at the Annunciation you can eat fish and red wine. However, it is forbidden to work on this holiday, especially on the ground. It is believed that on this day the winter finally recedes and all nature begins to awaken.
history of the holiday
The Annunciation is the bright news of the soon coming of the Son of God to the world, which the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary. According to the Gospel, Mary was promised to the Lord since childhood, and brought up in a temple in Jerusalem until she was sixteen years old.
She was then engaged to Joseph, a God-fearing and honest man who was a distant relative of hers.After marriage, Mary, with the consent of her husband, still maintained her purity and innocence, saving herself for the Lord. She led a righteous life filled with prayers and good works.
Mary was familiar with the prophecy, which said that the Savior of the human race would be born of a virgin, and was ready to become the slave of that woman. However, she herself was destined to become the mother of the Son of God. Hearing the message of the Archangel, Mary rejected all fears and accepted her mission, giving Jesus Christ to the world.
The deeper meaning of the Annunciation is that the world was saved by the unification of the power of God and the human will. Thus, the coming into the world of Jesus Christ became possible only due to the consent of Mary - the Lord would give people free will, and if the Virgin refused to accept her mission, then the Holy Spirit would not be able to descend on her.
Traditions on the Annunciation
The Annunciation is considered the day of freedom and peace, on this bright holiday, even in hell, grace comes for a small moment. On this day, you can not do any work, especially it is forbidden to work in the field. Our ancestors used to say that even the bird doesn’t nest on the Annunciation.Even it is customary to cook for the given holiday the most simple, not demanding big expenses of forces.
The Annunciation is considered the most unfavorable period for the commencement of new affairs, since on this day both people, animals, birds, and the earth itself should rest. There is a belief that once on this holiday the cuckoo decided to make a nest, despite the ban. As punishment, she lost the opportunity to start a family, and was doomed to throw her eggs in other people's nests.
There was a tradition in the villages to organize a spring festival on the Annunciation. People sang songs, welcomed the arrival of spring and the awakening of nature, lit fires through which young people jumped to burn their sins. It was also decided to release the birds to freedom. If someone kept a feathered cage at home, then at the Annunciation he released them.
It is believed that this day can not quarrel, so the house was not allowed any misunderstandings. The holiday, as a rule, was spent in the family circle, avoiding trips to visit. It is necessary to confess, repent and forgive all offenders at the Annunciation.
There are many folk signs associated with the Annunciation, some of which have come from pagan times.So, it is believed that on this day you can not wear new clothes, because in this case, it will quickly tear and deteriorate. Also at the Annunciation, unmarried girls did not comb their hair, so as not to confuse their fate.
Also on this holiday can not borrow money, because it means to give the family well-being. But in order to return the debt this is a very favorable period.
In addition, our ancestors closely monitored the weather for the Annunciation and predicted the way the harvest would be. So, if on this holiday the weather is overcast - the harvest will be poor, if the storm has passed - then the summer will be mild and warm, if the sun shines brightly - then the summer will be dry with the possibility of fires.
The warm weather for the Annunciation promises the continuation of frosts, and if frost is noticed on this day, then soon you can expect heat. If there are no swallows on the Annunciation, then the spring will be cold.
The Annunciation in the Conditions of Modernity
Today, adhering to all the prohibitions and conditions of church holidays is much more difficult than it was at the time of our ancestors. So, if the Annunciation falls on a weekday, then it’s simply impossible to refuse to work completely - the management may not understand.
Therefore, on this day you should at least avoid concluding important deals and not start a new activity. Doing household chores is also worth deferring. Washing, cleaning, ironing, repairs - all this can wait another day. In addition, it is worth taking the time to go to church to confess and pray.
The main thing to remember is that the Annunciation is a bright holiday that symbolizes freedom, hope, and the arrival of spring. Therefore, if circumstances do not allow you to celebrate it according to all the rules, then try to spend this day in peace with those around you and yourself.
Do not allow quarrels, debates and any conflicts in general, try to forgive your ill-wishers and let go of all offenses. If you yourself have upset or greatly hurt someone, then ask for forgiveness. Spend the evening in the family circle in peace and tranquility, and this will be the best option for celebrating the Annunciation.