August 6 is the day of Boris and Hleb: history, traditions and signs of the holiday


August 6, 2021, 06:04 | Culture

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August 6 — Boris and Gleb day: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

Boris and Gleb is a holiday celebrated on the 6th of the last summer month every year. If converted to the old calendar, this holiday falls on July 24, informs Ukr.Media.

History of the holiday

On that day in 1015, Boris, who was Prince of Rostov during his lifetime, and Hleb, a prince in the city of Murom, sons of the Grand Duke of Kyiv Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich, were innocently killed by vile co-religionists.

Young people, having barely buried their father, did not get involved in the internecine war that broke out among the heirs. They were condemned to martyrdom by their half-brother, who was eager to come to power as soon as possible. He persuaded to kill his brothers. Hleb and Boris humbly accepted death, forgiving their offenders, for which the church included them among the saints. And, despite the fact that the date of their canonization causes a lot of controversy, the brothers are considered one of the first martyrs, and the annals repeatedly describe the healing power of the relics of the pious martyr princes.

Prince Volodymyr (a.k.a. Volodymyr Khrestitel, a.k.a. Prince Krasne Sonechko) was married several times during his life and had many children who were stepmothers to each other. His last wife, Anna, a princess from Byzantium, gave birth to two boys for Volodymyr. These children, the youngest of all, were born into Christianity. Therefore, they were rightfully considered the legal heirs to a greater extent than other descendants. At the rite of Holy Baptism, Boris was given the name Roman, and Hlebu was given the name David. The noble maternal blood of the Basileus of Byzantium, who were respected by the rulers at that time, flowed through the veins of the young people.

The prince of Kyiv gave his own property as an inheritance to the grown-up boys. Hleb was appointed prince of the city by Mur, Boris began to rule Rostov.

According to the found excerpts from the annals, Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv wanted to transfer his principality to Boris and kept the boy with him. But, by coincidence, the son was on a campaign at the time of his father's death, he went with the war against the Pechenegs.

To date, historians who argued about who gave the order to kill the brothers have divided into two sides. According to one of the parties, Boris and Hleb were sentenced to death by their older half-brother, Svyatopolk Okaianny. Another version is based on the assumption that they were subjected to a painful death by another relative, brother (again, half-brother), Yaroslav the Wise. In any case, the war for the throne, which broke out between the heirs after the death of the prince, could serve as an impetus for such quarrels.

Traditions and rituals< /p>

After Boris and Hleb were canonized as saints, they were revered by people as healers and miracle workers. Then they were addressed more, and mainly from the family of princes, as intercessors and prayer leaders. The brothers were called defenders of the Slavic people.

In the chronicles, you can find many stories about healings that took place near the coffin of the holy brothers. About the victories that people believed were achieved thanks to the prayers of Boris and Hleb. Likewise, many pilgrimages were made to the burial place of the relics of pious princes.

The main tradition on the holiday of Boris and Hleb was the collection of berries. Starting from that day, the peasants harvested cherry berries. They were used in various fields. They went both for food and for making healing potions, infusions and ointments.

Nowadays, cherry is not so actively used, but people collect other berries for the holiday. Viburnum, raspberries, blueberries and blueberries, currants, everything for jam, compotes, pies and drying for the winter.

Also, during the holiday season, people collect and dry birch branches to make bath brooms. Mushrooms are collected in rainy weather.

An old tradition is to refuse work. It is not advisable to go out into the field or garden, transplant plants or weed crops, wash. All work that can be postponed was postponed to the next day. It was believed that by working on this church holiday, you can anger the spirits of earth and heaven.


When Christianity came to Russia, the people strongly believed in many pagan gods. Gods of Earth and Sky, Water and Fire, Forest and Earth. The new religion was never able to completely remove the belief in the forces of the Earth from the souls of people, and all signs still have echoes of paganism.

  • On the holiday of Boris and Hleb, bread ripens. As they used to say in the old days, “Boris and Hleb have passed, the bread is ripe”. But the harvest itself was postponed for another day, as the gods of the earth and sky can become angry. This belief did not arise in vain, because the beginning of August always came with heavy downpours and thunderstorms.
  • A full moon appeared on August 6 – expect the weather until the end of August to be the same as it was on the day of the holiday.< /li>
  • It is raining in the morning, so the whole next day should pass without precipitation.
  • If the flies are active in the morning, then the sun and hot weather are expected. Well, if the winged insects seem sleepy, wait for the rain.
  • The chickens don't leave the hen house all day – the long rains will start soon.
  • The bird is circling low to the ground – wait for the rain.
  • It's gotten colder and the air outside the window is below 15 degrees – it's time to gather and I will prepare cherries. The berries collected on this holiday will contain many vitamins and will last for a long time.
  • If you start harvesting bread on August 6, then you should not cover the roof of the house with the straw left after the harvest. Either the wind will not let her lie down, or she will be burned by a sudden flash of lightning.
  • Firewood is burning hot in the stove or in the bonfire – a strong wind is possible.
  • On the 6th of the last summer month, the sun is hot and shining – expect winter with bitter frosts and lack of snow, but if it rains on the holiday, the winter will bring a lot of precipitation and be relatively warm.

Boris and Gleb is celebrated annually by the Christian church as the day of the holy martyrs. But for the people, August 6 is the time of nature and the Earth. Hours when you listen to the forces of the elements, when you can relax with your family, collect berries, mushrooms and herbs, prepare preparations for the winter.


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