Ilyin day: what does this holiday mean and how to celebrate it
If in ancient times someone was killed by lightning, many eyewitnesses believed: the victim was punished for some serious sin by Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, who had risen to heaven in his chariot during life. Hearing the thunder (and especially without rain, under a clear sky), people were baptized and said: “Elijah passed.” In our days, Ilyin’s Day seems to be an unimportant holiday. But there are no unimportant dates in the church, and this is why …
This Companion was born in the 9th century BC. The birthplace was the Pharisees of Thebes. As a young man, Elijah went to the wilderness to serve the Lord by constant prayer and fasting (which is why he is called the first biblical righteous virgin). However, he did not stay there for long: God called him to return to his native city in order to set the true pagan king on the path.
Lord Ahab worshiped Baal, and his wife was even a priestess of this deity. Ilya persuaded them to abandon paganism for a long time, showing miracles (he resurrected the child, caused heavenly fire), but the rulers refused to change their worldview. Because of this, God’s disfavor fell on the city in the form of a drought ending in hunger.
Tired of deprivation, people began to listen to Ilya, but so far they have not hurried to bow to his faith. The prophet suggested that the city offer two sacrifices: Baal and the Lord. The gifts to the gods were laid on the altars, and the deities themselves should have taken them away by burning the sacrifices. True, no fire came down on the altar of Baal, but the altar of the Lord (moreover, watered with water!) Flashed a bright flame. This miracle convinced the people, and they bowed before the Lord’s power.
During his righteous life, this prophet (among other things, many centuries before Christ’s birth, warning about the coming of the Messiah) was lifted up to heaven.
You can learn more about the life of Ilya from the video at the end of the article.
- In Judaism, it is called Eliyahu. He is considered the forerunner of Meshiyah (that is, the Messiah). But while Christians believe that their Messiah (Christ) has already come to our land, the Jews are still waiting for the coming of their Son of God, and before his coming, Elijah will return to our world and will afflict Meshiyah to the kingdom.
- He is respected in Islam too, calling it a little differently: Ilyas. In this religion, he too was ascended to heaven during his lifetime.
- Also this saint was brought to the pantheon of his own gods by the Komi people. For them, Ilya is an assistant to one of the creator gods, armed with flint and fire (with their help, Ilya creates the heavenly lightning and thunder).
- Our ancestors Rusich venerated this saint before the baptism of the country. Yes, the temple of Ilya existed even during the reign of Prince Igor, and he was the first Christian building in Kiev.
- In modern Russia, August 2 is the day of the airborne troops. Paratroopers consider Ilya a patron saint. Modern Vdv-shnik even arrange processions with the icon of his saint.
This day is celebrated:
- August 2 (new style),
- July 20 (the old way).
There is an opinion that the date was not chosen by chance: during this period nature often “pleases” with rains, thunderstorms and even hail — by the forces of heaven, which the saint is considered to be the patron saint.
However, the prophet among Christians is not only such a “Perun”. It also helps the sick to heal, to the quarreling couples to find a compromise in a family quarrel, reconciles the children and parents.
- Wash water from a spring: it will add health, strength, and also become a talisman from all the bad.
- Collect rainwater, if the rain (and even better the storm) passed on Ilyin day. Get another amulet, this time from the evil eye. By the way, and during the thunderstorm itself you should light a candle in front of the images, and shut the windows and doors tightly.
- Pray to Ilya before the collected seeds, asking the prophet to bless them.
- From hard physical work — it is a sinful feast, so it is better to visit the church and rest.
- However, the rest should be cultural. You should not get drunk (like swearing, cursing, arguing loudly).
- Work is prohibited even for beekeepers. The only thing they did on Ilyin’s day was to prepare wax for the subsequent manufacture of candles.
- Even if the sky is clear, our ancestors did not advise standing under a tree that day. Especially feared «double-headed» pines (with two crowns or tops).
- The “wrong” places also include a crossroads. On August 2, invisible evil spirits might gather here, so our grandmothers said: do not stand and do not linger at the intersection. If you can’t get around to it, go quickly and don’t look back.
- So that the unclean spirit does not take possession of the body of the pet (or did not replace it, ceasing to your cow), cows and sheep are not expelled to the plow. As for pets who live in the yard (dogs, cats), they were not allowed into the house — who knows what kind of evil could cling to the animal while it ran freely along the street?
- Fishing on a holiday is also prohibited.
This ban has been for hundreds of years, but not everyone knows why it was on this (and the following) days that people stopped walking on the river. There are several theories of the origin of the ban:
- the water became colder than before (“An ice horseshoe fell from the hoof of Ilya’s horse into the water” or “Ilya sketched up ice”);
- devils bathe on this day, so the water is unclean (besides, horned wicked people can grab people bathing by the feet, or “reward” with warts).
The men joked that day: “Everything, the bathing is over, Illya wrote in the water.”
As for the present day, in the middle zone, young people do not refuse to swim in open areas until the end of August. Though scientists are sure: the prohibition may concern not only superstitions, but also scientific facts. For example, the beginning of the «bloom» of water, because of what it becomes muddy and does not smell as fresh as before.
- «The Prophet is two o’clock in the afternoon uvolok»: since August, the light day is shortened, and the night becomes longer.
- “Before Ilya, clouds go downwind, and afterwards — against the wind”: the temperature and weather will begin to change inevitably.
- If it rains on this day and thunder will boom, many will have a headache. But if a person inadvertently drenches under such a rain, no illness will touch him until the end of the year.
And now, as promised, we offer you a church documentary about Elijah. It tells about the biography and miracles of the saint, and in addition, the temples erected in Russia in honor of this prophet are shown.