July 26 – Gavrilo Litniy: history, traditions and signs of the holiday


July 26, 2022, 06:00 | Culture

You should not borrow or lend money today, otherwise you will not get rid of financial difficulties and debts by the end of the year.

July 26 — Gavrilo the Elder: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

Old Slavic holidays in Russia harmoniously combined the system of pagan ideas about the world around us, inherited from our ancestors, with the strict canons of the Orthodox rituals, informs Ukr.Media.

One of the examples of such holidays is Gavrilo Litniy. It is celebrated every year on July 26. In Orthodoxy, the Cathedral of the Archangel Gabriel is celebrated at this time.

The story of the saint's life

Gabriel is one of the highest archangels of heaven. By God's command, he taught and supported the prophet Moses during the period of writing the Old Testament book of Genesis. With the blessing of the Archangel, the prophet Daniel was able to make his prophecy about the fate of the chosen Jewish tribe.

Also, Archangel Gabriel relentlessly watched over and protected the Savior's ancestors from various misfortunes, starting with his righteous grandmother Anna. He brought the good news about the coming of Jesus to earth.

Gabriel first visited the three-year-old Maria (the future Mother of God) when she came with her parents to the temple for baptism at the age of three. Since then, the Archangel constantly accompanied her through life, until the Mother of God completed her worldly journey.

Archangel Gabriel appeared before the priest Zacharias and prophesied to him about the appearance of John's son (who became John the Baptist). Half a year after this event, Gabriel appeared before Mary with the news of her immaculate conception of Christ. He also warned Joseph (the worldly husband of Mary) about the intentions of King Herod to destroy all the babies and ordered them to leave Judea urgently and go to Egypt.

When Christ was crucified on the cross, the Lord sent Gabriel to strengthen the spirit of the Savior. And after the execution, the Archangel appeared to the women who carried myrrh to the body of the crucified one, and informed them of the resurrection of Jesus.

Folk traditions and rites

On Gavril the Elder, the people continued to harvest grain and hay bales from the fields for winter feeding of livestock. If there were many blades of grass in the stack that had not yet had time to dry, it was disassembled and spread over to dry. Otherwise, the dead grass could destroy all the hay reserves for the winter.

Archangel Gabriel was considered a traditional helper against fatigue and physical weakness. The villagers prayed to him for help in order to gather strength and successfully complete all field work before the onset of autumn cold and prolonged rains.

On this day, it was strictly forbidden to slaughter cattle: it was believed that such meat would not only be of no use, but would also drain all the strength, draining the life out of the one who tasted it for many months to come.

July 26 was a good time for matchmaking, especially if it involved adult widows. People believed that the union concluded at this time would be especially strong, and the children born in such a marriage would live a long life and be distinguished by excellent health.

Beliefs and omens

  • On Gavril, the earth is wet and the furrows in the field are tight – the vegetable harvest will be abundant;
  • If on this day I left rain – don't expect any autumn harvest;
  • The more it rains on July 26 – the colder the future winter will be;
  • If the clouds float across the sky quickly in the morning – closer to the evening the weather will deteriorate;< /li>
  • Crowks fly in a flock – autumn will be short, but it will come early;
  • Ants swarm in a heap – it will soon get colder;
  • Frogs jump out of the swamps onto the shore – to a thunderstorm.


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