Ilyin’s Day 2022 – why you can’t swim and what you can do, signs – UNIAN

The holiday of Elijah the Prophet is very revered by the people and has many prohibitions.

What not to do on Elijah's Day / photo from UNIAN

What not to do on Elijah’s Day / photo from UNIAN

Every year the church celebrates on August 2 Day of Elijah the Prophet – an Old Testament saint revered in Russia. In ancient times, this day was spent in field work and was considered a harbinger of autumn. To this day, many signs and beliefs associated with the Day of Elijah have been preserved.

What not to do on Ilyin’s day

Although the prophet Elijah is a Christian character, the customs of this holiday are more like pagan ones. The Slavs honored St. Elijah as the patron of thunder and lightning, and the date of August 2 was considered dangerous due to bad weather. It is strictly forbidden to work outside during a thunderstorm today. It is better not to leave the house at all in bad weather, otherwise it can be killed by lightning.

On this day, it is better not to anger the saint with work. Instead, it’s better to have a meal. On August 2, homeless animals should not be allowed into the house, otherwise they will turn into unclean animals. Expelling pets on the street is also not worth it. Fishing is not allowed on this day.

What is forbidden on Ilyin's day / photo Marina Grigorenko

What is forbidden on Ilyin’s day / photo Marina Grigorenko

Why you can not swim on Elijah the Prophet

The most famous ban of this day is associated with the belief that on the Day of Elijah, underwater evil spirits come to life. From that day on, they no longer bathe in lakes and rivers, so that mermaids and mermen do not drag them to the bottom. Our ancestors believed that bathing on this day could bring illness.

This prohibition also has a natural justification. Usually, from August 2, the water became cold in the northern regions, and bloomed in the southern ones.

What can be done on Elijah’s Day

  • On this day, you can attend the liturgy and the festive procession.
  • You can arrange feasts and invite all relatives.
  • On August 2, you can pick berries and herbs, prepare tea and medicinal plants.
  • Elijah the Prophet is considered the patron saint of fertility, so he can be prayed for replenishment in the family.
  • Today you can take care of the bees and work in the apiary.

Weather signs on Elijah’s Day

  1. Deaf thunder on Ilya – to weak rains, sonorous – to heavy showers.
  2. Heavy rain that day means there will be no fires next year.
  3. If the insects have already subsided, then it will be early autumn.
  4. Whoever gets wet in the rain today will be healthy all year.

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