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Day of St. Anthony (Antonovden) beliefs and rituals

Photo: library

St. Anthony was born in Egypt around 251 AD and died at the age of 105 on 17 January, celebrated as his patron saint’s day.

St. Anthony is considered to be the first monk to have lived a life in complete solitude, far from any earthly temptation and sin. He helped people with spiritual guidance and also with his gift as a healer. St. Anthony left behind dozens of followers and disciples.

In popular tradition, 17 January is called Antonovden (St. Anthony’s day), celebrated by all people named Anton, Antonia, Andon, Antoaneta and also Doncho, Donka and their derivatives. In Bulgarian tradition, the rituals on this day are connected with the belief that the saint, together with his twin brother (St. Athanasius, celebrated on 18 January) has the gift of curing disease.

Find out more HERE.

Compiled by Albena Bezovska

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