May 15 – Boris and Gleb Sivachi: history, traditions and signs of the holiday


May 15, 2022, 06:04 | Culture

Today you can't sweep, throw away garbage from the house – you can sweep or throw away financial luck.

May 15 — Boris and Gleb Sivachi: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

May 15 is the holiday of Boris and Gleb Sivachi, in honor of the memory of the Russian princes who were martyred in 1015, informs Ukr.Media.


Boris and Hleb are the sons of Volodymyr the Great, the baptizer of Russia. Their older brothers are Yaroslav the Wise and Svyatopolk, nicknamed Okayanny for fratricide. From his father, Hleb received Murom, and Boris – Rostov. Born before the baptism of Russia, they sincerely accepted the Christian faith and were pious rulers, for which the people loved and respected them.

Carrying out his father's order to repel the Pecheneg raid, Boris and his wife were on a campaign. There he learned about his father's death and that Svyatopolk had taken the throne. He angrily rejected his wife's offer to go to Kyiv to compete for the title. In response, most of the army left him. Borys, anticipating his death at the hands of Svyatopolk's mercenaries, begged God to forgive his older brother. The murderers stabbed the prince with a spear. At that time he was about 25 years old. He was buried in Vyshgorod, near the church of St. Basil.

Fearing that Hleb would take revenge, Svyatopolk summoned him to Kyiv. On the way, Prince Muromsky received a message from his brother Yaroslav with a warning of danger and a request to return back. The wife was ready to defend her prince, but he forbade them to use weapons. Death overtook him at the hands of his own cook.

4 years later, Yaroslav the Wise occupied Kyiv. He moved Hleb's remains from near Smolensk and buried them near his brother's grave. In addition, Yaroslav offered the Russian Orthodox Church to canonize Boris and Hleb, who became the first Russian saints.

Why were the brothers canonized? For their Christian morality. For the fact that they meekly accepted death instead of a bloody internecine war for power. The Orthodox Church commemorates the martyrs on May 15, September 18, August 6.

Where the relics rest

In In 1020, the wooden church of St. Basil burned down, but the fire did not damage the remains of the brothers. By order of Yaroslav, a new church was built, named after the saints, where the imperishable relics were transferred.

At the end of the XI century on the site of the wooden structure, Yaroslav's children built a stone church and on May 15, 1115, they transferred the fragrant relics of the martyrs to it with their own hands. During the invasion of Khan Batiya, the temple building was destroyed, and the shrine was lost.


The holiday had several names. One of them is a rainy day. The saints were asked for successful trade and a large income. They were plotting wealth in the house. In the evening, the merchants set a rich table, to which they also invited the poor, because they believed that by sharing a little, you can get a lot.

The main tradition is preparation for sowing pumpkin crops, beets, cabbage and other vegetables. In the northern regions, warm beds were prepared for cucumbers. This is where the name came from – Borys and Gleb Siyachi, who are considered patrons of farmers.


Nightingales were also celebrated' it is a holiday, because it was believed that nightingales begin to sing now. It was said that these little birds welcome summer, and if they sing, there will be no frost in the coming days, but it will be warm and sunny. Whoever catches a bird with white plumage will be happy all year round.

More omens:

  • Small livestock and poultry purchased on Boris Day , gave good growth.
  • If you count all the money in the house before the sun rises, there will be profit and good luck all year long.
  • A warm day is a rich farmer.
  • The sunset is clear – until a dry summer.
  • If the nightingale sings before the cuckoo, the summer will be favorable, if it began to sing when the leaves on the trees have not bloomed, there will be a bad harvest in the garden.


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