August 6 – Borys and Gleb Litni: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

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August 6, 2022, 06:00 | Culture

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August 6 &mdash ; Boris and Gleb Litni: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

On August 6, Orthodox Christians around the world honor the memory of the martyrs of the holy princes Boris and Hleb. The murdered brothers, victims of quarrels and state machinations, became the first canonized martyrs in the history of Russia. They were martyred at the hands of fellow believers, not at the hands of idolaters and persecutors of Christians, as happened in most cases. In the Catholic Church, the victims are known by other names — Roman Russian and David Polish. The people have long considered them Slavic patrons and deputies of their native land, informs Ukr.Media.

History of the life of the first saints in Russia

According to the records of the Kyiv annals, the pious princes belong to the Byzantine family. It is reported that they were the children of Princess Anna of the Macedonian dynasty and Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich, known as the Baptist of the Russian lands. A number of scientists are skeptical of this version, but it still remains generally accepted. In childhood, the brothers were brought up in piety, they were instilled with love for the Almighty, meekness and obedience. It bore fruit – the prince's sons differed from their peers in their special mercy, sensitivity and kindness to the poor and sick.

During the second land division, Boris (christened Roman) received lands in Rostov that were previously under the administration of Yaroslav. The young ruler became famous as a skilled warrior and a wise leader. In 1015, his father Volodymyr fell seriously ill, and Prince Rostov was called to Kyiv. When the man arrived in the city, it became known about the invasion of the Pechenegs, and he was sent to repel the attacks. Already on the way, he was informed about the death of his father. The eldest of the brothers, Svyatopolk, took advantage of the situation, usurped the throne of Kyiv and sent a boyar to kill his own brother. Boris did not hide from the messengers, he accepted death with honor, not wanting to fight with a blood relative. Before his death, he prayed incessantly, asking God to forgive sinners.

During this period of time, Yaroslav the Wise informs Hleb about the loss of his father, the murder of Roman and the state conspiracy against him. Hleb read prayers day and night like a martyred brother. However, the Svyatopolk boyars overtook him. The henchmen of Dusuhub ordered his cook to stab David Polsky. There is a polar point of view that the death of the first persons is to blame for the "good" brother Yaroslav One of the translations of the Eymund saga says that Yarisleif (Yaroslav) was hired together with King Eymund to kill Borysleif. Who exactly was meant by this name – Boris or Boleslav, the Polish king, is still unknown.

The bodies of Boris and Hleb were buried near the St. Basil's Cathedral in Vyshhorod, Ukraine. Some sources mention that the relics of the saints received the gift of healing and miracles after burial. The Borysoglib church (the new name of the same church) became the center of veneration of saints; objects and relics somehow connected with the great martyrs were kept there.

Traditions of the day

Borys and Hleb were not allowed to be lazy – it was customary to do everyday work. Housewives were actively engaged in the summer collection of berries — raspberries, blueberries, blueberries — for making jam and drying. They preferred not to go out into the field – thunderstorms that intensified at the end of August often led to fires in dry grass and fires due to lightning strikes.

Folk omens

  • The cuckoo flies low – before the rain.
  • Flies buzz early in the morning – it will be sunny .
  • Seagulls bathe a lot – before the rains.
  • Spiders weave webs – for sunny weather.
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  • Rain early in the morning – it will be sunny in the afternoon.
  • South wind – bad weather.
  • Chickens cower to the hen – they sense rain.
  • The dew will not dry until lunchtime – there will be a thunderstorm.
  • Rainy day – the winter will be warm and snowy.
  • Sunny day – to a harsh, frosty winter with little snow.
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