Day of St. John the Baptist – the greatest man born of woman

Photo: archive

Christians around the world often call St. John the Baptist Precursor “the greatest man born of woman” (because Christ was born of a virgin). He preached that the Saviour had already been born into this world. And believers were baptized in the waters of the river Jordan. Later, he baptized Jesus himself. King Herod ordered him to be beheaded. The Christian Orthodox church celebrates St. John the Baptist six times a year. 29 August is a day of sorrow, similar to Good Friday, because on this day the saint was beheaded.

There are many legends in Bulgaria connected with this day. 29 August is known as Seknovenie, because it “cuts across” summer (from the Bulgarian word seka, cut), and summer begins to grow colder. It is also believed that mythical creatures such as dragons and wood-nymphs, and all kinds of reptiles go back to their dens for the winter and are no longer a danger to humans. On this day it is believed that no work should be done, no red fruit or vegetables should be eaten, and no red wine drunk, because the saint’s blood has been spilled. ​

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