Today, January 14, according to the national calendar, Vasilyev’s Day is celebrated, which before the calendar reform coincided with the beginning of the new year.
This holiday was also called « Caesaret » in honor of St. Basil the Great, also known as Basil of Caesarea. This saint in the fourth century was the archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia and became famous as a theologian, author of many sermons and the creator of the idea of an iconostasis.
In many villages on this day it was customary to prick the so-called « Caesaretic » piglets. According to custom, the pig was roasted and served whole on the table. It was considered a universal treat, so all fellow villagers could come and eat it, and each of those who came had to bring some money and give it to the owner. The next day, all the money was donated to the parish church for those in need.
In the old days, buckwheat porridge was also prepared on Vasilyev’s Day in compliance with a certain ritual. If the porridge came out of the pot and was pale in color, expect trouble. If the porridge turned out to be bright, well boiled, then the family should be happy and the harvest rich. Unlike Christmas, which was considered a family holiday, guests were invited to New Year’s dinner.
They said that « Vasily divides the Christmastide in half »: from January 7 to 14, « holy evenings » were celebrated, and from 14 to 19 – « terrible ».
Vasilyev’s evening was recognized as the most successful time for predicting the future, the girls wondered about marriage. They said that everything that was divined at this time would certainly come true.
Also on Vasilyev’s evening it was customary to shake off the snow from the apple trees. This had to be done without fail at midnight for the apples to be born.
At night, you still had to monitor the weather: if the wind blew from the south, it meant a hot and prosperous year; if from the west – to an abundance of milk and fish; from the east – to the harvest of fruits and berries. A lot of fluffy frost on the trees foreshadowed a good honey harvest. Snow or severe frost on this day promised a fertile year. Tonight in the Chelyabinsk region it was minus 34-39 degrees, in the lowlands – up to minus 42 degrees, and the day promises to be frosty. We will wait for a very good harvest.
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El No. FS77-52356 dated 28.12.2012, issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor)