Traditions associated with Lazarev Saturday

The Saturday preceding Palm Sunday is usually called Lazareva. The history of these two holidays dates back to the time of Jesus Christ's life on earth. The Gospel says that the righteous Lazarus was resurrected by the Lord on Saturday, after which his followers believed in the truth of miracles.

The very next day Jesus entered the walls of Jerusalem, which was the beginning of the Palm Sunday celebration.

The holiday has no specific date. Orthodox Christians celebrate it on the sixth week of Great Lent. This year it falls on April 24th. A festive day should be spent in a calm, quiet atmosphere, but with spiritual grace. Preparation for Lazarev's Day must be read in advance.

Holiday history

During his lifetime, Jesus Christ had a close friend named Lazarus. Suddenly he was seized by the strongest ailment, which led to death. Having learned about the illness of a friend, Christ went to him, but did not make it in time. Once in his house, he met only the grief-stricken sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The body of the deceased, according to the customs of that time, was transferred to a cave, the entrance to which was littered with a huge stone. Having learned this, the Savior hurried to the cave to say goodbye to the person dear to his heart and pray for him.

The prayers were so powerful that Lazarus was resurrected. So, Christ once again was able to demonstrate to the people the power given to him from above. It was quite difficult for the relatives of the deceased to believe in a miracle, but the news of the resurrection quickly spread throughout the area. The next day, Jesus, entering the gates of Jerusalem, was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, praising him for what he had done.

Traditions of the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday

Since the celebration of Lazarev's Day is directly related to the celebration of Palm Sunday, this day is associated with a number of traditions:

  • the blessing of the willow branches used during the Sunday celebrations begins on Saturday morning;
  • in the past young girls walked the streets and sang holiday songs, for which neighbors were rewarded with sweets and small coins;
  • it is generally accepted that a girl who ate an egg that day will soon get married;
  • on Saturday evening, the church service begins, which will last throughout the night;
  • the ministers of the church wear festive, white attire, on this day it is advisable to reflect on the meaning of life and death;
  • traditionally, palm branches were consecrated on this day, but since palm trees do not grow in Russia, they were replaced by willow;
  • it is customary to whip children and close relatives, consecrated with willow branches, thus protecting them from terrible diseases;
  • quarrels and disputes should be avoided on this day, communication should be enjoyable, all past grievances should be forgiven and never remembered;
  • visiting the cemetery and commemorating the dead on this day is not welcome, since on a holiday, you need to think about the miracle Jesus performed.

Traditions of other countries

Orthodox holidays are usually celebrated not only in Russia, but also in other Orthodox countries. Each of them has its own characteristics of the celebration of Lazarev's Day:

  • in Cyprus, small children gather in a company and walk around neighboring houses with branches in their hands, the procession is always led by a boy whose decoration mainly consists of red poppies and yellow daisies, while they sing to Lazarev song;
  • in Greece it is customary to create a reconstruction of the resurrection of Lazarus, not only adults but also children take part in the preparation of the production;
  • there is an interesting tradition in Bulgaria, called lazarovanie - among girls under 12 years old choose one, which is given the honor of becoming a "bride", with a head covered with a veil, she carries a basket filled with sweets and other treats;
  • in Belarus it is customary to bake special cakes, their number is always limited by the number of family members , a coin is hidden in one of the loaves, which should bring good luck to its owner, and an unmarried girl - an early wedding.

It is customary to cover the palm branches not only in Russia, the Serbs also adhere to the same tradition.

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