St. Peter’s day: customs and superstitions on the feast of Peter and Paul

Today, July 12, Orthodox Christians celebrate a holiday called the Day of Peter and Paul, which the Slavs are sometimes also called St. Peter’s day. According to Church tradition, the apostles Peter and Paul received Holy martyrdom on the same day — June 29 in the Julian calendar. Also this holiday is celebrated as “your” many fishermen, the Apostle Peter is the patron Saint of fishing.


photo: Mikhail Kovalev

The holiday is also associated with the transfer of the relics of the apostles Peter and Paul, which was held in Rome on June 29, 258. It is anticipated that the day acquired its present value around the year 324, when in Rome and Constantinople were first built temples in honor of the apostles.

In the Orthodox tradition, the Day of Peter and Paul precedes the fast of the apostles, erected in memory of the fact that the apostles fasted, preparing himself to preach the gospel. The fast of the apostles begins a week after Pentecost, on Monday, and is not as strict as Great lent — people who observe it should abstain only from meat and dairy foods, and on Wednesdays and Fridays also from fish. Saturday, Sunday and Church feasts allowed the use of wine. The day of the feast of the Holy apostles Peter and Paul is not part of the post.

The day of Peter and Paul is among the greatest holidays — this means that it is a solemn service. All of these holidays of seventeen, twelve of them are called “twelve great feasts” and are considered the most important after Easter, and another five (including the Day of Peter and Paul) do not belong to the twelve.

The Slavs Petrov day and some other holidays, a tradition Dating back as Christianity and folk customs. This day marks the end of “the Midsummer celebration”, which also includes Ivan Kupala holiday and Agrafena Kupalnitsa. In the view of the Slavs, these three feast represent a kind of “high point” of the summer and the full blossoming of natural forces. In Peter’s day it was customary to dance and swing on the swings. Another tradition was game guessing: the boys went among the girls, covering his face with handkerchiefs. Guess the predicted soon to be married.

This day is not accepted to work in the garden and the garden and quarrel with loved ones. A good omen is to wash in the morning spring water — it is believed that it prolongs youth. The singing of the cuckoo in this day portends a long summer, and the singing of a Nightingale — on the contrary, the long winter.

Read the material: “Midsummer: history, superstitions and traditions of the holiday”

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