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Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the memory of Saint Anthony the Great

Photo: www.pravoslavieto.com

On January 17 the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the memory of Saint Anthony the Great who is regarded as one of the founders of monasticism in the Christian world. In Egypt, Saint Anthony founded a monastery which is preserved until present and is considered the oldest monastery in the world. According to the Bulgarian folk tradition, people mark the Day of Saint Anthony (Antonovden) to protect themselves from illnesses. On this day, women do not weave or cook beans or lentils to keep plague and measles away from their homes. Specially baked soda pita bread is handed out to relatives and neighbors for good health. A piece of bread is left in the attic to chase plague away from the house. Nearly 82,000 Bulgarians celebrate their name day on this day- Anton, Antonia, Andon, Toncho, Donka, etc.

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