Sunday, June 12, 2022, is Pentecost, an extremely important holiday for Orthodox Christians, which continues on Monday, June 13, 2021, a legal day off. The descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost or Pentecost) is always marked on the eighth Sunday after Easter, and the Orthodox Church celebrates the person of the Holy Spirit on the Sunday of Pentecost, but also the day after it, on the Feast of the Holy Trinity (also called Holy Spirit Monday).
Pentecost or the Descent of the Holy Spirit is one of the oldest Christian holidays, along with Easter. At Pentecost, believers remember that the Holy Spirit came into the world and descended upon the Holy Apostles, and the Church of Christ was founded in Jerusalem.
As at Easter, there are several days of celebration to mark the Fifth or Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the holy apostles. It is a holiday that is associated with many customs and traditions, but also superstitions, such as those related to the appearance of iels, evil fairies.
Pentecost is “the end of the holidays”
The Feast of Pentecost, which takes place 50 days after Christ’s Resurrection and 10 days after His Ascension into Heaven, was foretold in the Old Testament by Messianic prophets, and is also called the “end of the feasts.” of Christ’s salvation. This holiday is also popularly known as “Great Sunday”, because with it, the Easter cycle ends: the Resurrection, Ascension and Descent of the Holy Spirit.
Since the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are directly connected, the Monday after Pentecost Sunday is dedicated to glorification. Holy Trinity.
The Biblical Significance of the Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit descended on the Holy Apostles on Sunday morning, the day of Pentecost, in the form of tongues of firenot as a dove as at the Baptism of the Lord, says Archimandrite Elijah Cleopas.
The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, who were in the tabernacle of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, is described as follows:When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in the same place. And there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (…) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What manner of man is this!”(Acts 2: 1-13).
It is also the feast of the founding of the Christian Church, because on the same day, following the lively speech of St. Peter the Apostle, about 3,000 souls were converted to Christianity, who formed the first Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts II, 41), the nucleus of the later Church.
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity (the dogma of the Trinity of divinity is fundamental and has implications for all Christian teaching), which was given to the primary apostolic community, endowed the Church with everything the Christian body needed: preaching the gospel, the Holy Sacraments , charisms, diakonia. The historical existence and any sacramental action of the Church now depend on the invocation of the Holy Spirit, shows Agerpres.
After the Holy Apostles received the Holy Spirit, drawing lots, they went to all parts of the earth to proclaim the gospel of salvation and faith in Jesus Christ, beginning in Jerusalem. And through the Holy Apostles, the Holy Spirit was transmitted into the world to all who believe in Christ, through the Holy Sacraments which are performed in the Church by priests and bishops.
The significance of Pentecost lies in the fact that from now on, the Holy Spirit will definitely enter history, there being no time and space without the personal presence, the real coming and the actual work of God.
Where does the word “Pentecost” come from and who were they?
The word Pentecost comes from the Latin “rosalia”, which symbolizes the feast of roses, but also represents the daughters of King Rusalim, who were believed to have magical powers and seduce people, punishing those who did not respect them.
That is why, in the popular belief, Pentecost is also seen as the spirits of the dead, called in the nations or evil fairies. Thus, after leaving the tombs at Joimari and spending the Passover with the living, the spirits of the dead refuse to return to their underground places and begin to harm the people. And in order to improve them, the people, who avoided calling them Pentecost, gave them different names: fairies or fairies.
There is a superstition that these spirits stand by the springs and can, through their songs and dances, take people’s minds and make them sick. The disease resembles, it is said among the people, a trance that can only be removed by the power of the dancers’ dance.
The power of Pentecostal dance
On Pentecost, in some regions, the “Gearmen’s Game” is danced. Thus, it is said among the people that the most used remedy for those affected by Pentecost is the game of the monks.
The Căluşarilor Dance is the remedy for the healing of a soul who watched the “Dance of the Ieles” that took his mind. The Căluşarilor dance cancels the spell of the seduced one and puts the iels on the run.
The custom of the Pentecostal monks, very old, is known especially in the localities of Conteşti, Lisa, Năsturelu, Bragadiru and Zimnicea. The elders of the villages believe that, if you are ill, you can get well on Pentecost after the clowns’ footsteps pass over you.
In Oltenia, groups of seven or eight nuns go from house to house to carol and drive away evil spirits, and people greet them with walnut leaves, wormwood, garlic, water and salt.
Lime tree, the tree with the magical role of Pentecost
Pentecost is associated with other traditions and customs, which differ from region to region. In some areas, people decorate their homes and homes with lime, walnut, poplar or oak branches for to drive away evil and disease.
Lime branches have a special symbolism in this holiday: it is believed that lime protects households from hail or the evil spirits of fairies. The lads bring them from the woods, after which they are consecrated at the church, and the faithful take them home and put them on icons.
Lime, shock or blackberry branches sanctified by Pentecost are used as medicine for the rest of the year. In the popular tradition it is said that only until Midsummer plants have healing powers.
In some areas, women cast spells to drive away the iels, and the doors are smeared with garlic, because it is believed that this will keep the house from evil and bad luck for the rest of the year.
Evil spirits are also driven away by noisy rituals and crackling with lime branches.
In some households, grease is prepared that is applied to the cows’ udders to increase their milk.
The habit of watering wives
Also on Pentecost, in Transylvania there is the custom known as “Watering wives”when women are sprayed with water to be healthy and beautiful for the rest of the year.
“Watering the wives” in the Gurghiu River is a unique custom in Romania, which the locals of Hodac commune keep with sanctity from their ancestors on the second day of Pentecost. The “watering of wives” from Hodac and the village of Toaca is a custom dedicated to young wives, who got married in the last year, after Pentecost last year and until now, and aims at the fertility and luck of the woman.
In some areas it is said that if Pentecost is a beautiful time, then the whole summer will be beautiful and fruitful.
What not to do on Pentecost, according to popular tradition
Legend has it that Ielele or Pentecost are fantastic creatures that walk through the air and can take people’s minds if they do not observe the holiday. Pentecost, known by various names – iele, fairies, falcons, empresses of the air, bears – they walk dressed in white, and the places where they dance remain burned and barren.
It is said that Pentecost sometimes kidnaps a handsome young man to play with him, then releases him, but he does not have to say what he saw, because otherwise he could be punished.
In some villages, people think that on the days of Pentecost it is not good to go to the field, because Ielele will catch you and punish you. At Pentecost, people do not have to go to the vineyard or go to deserted places, because they may encounter evil spirits.
In some areas it is said that those who do not observe the feast of Pentecost will be punished by Iele, which causes the disease popularly called “taken from Pentecost.” It is also not good to quarrel with someone on the day of Pentecost, because you will be “taken away from Pentecost.”
On Pentecost Sunday it is not good to climb trees or high places or to travel far from home.
Flowers, linden or walnut leaves are placed at the gate and in the house to protect you.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca
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