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Orthodox Christians celebrate Ascension of Jesus

Photo: BGNES

Today the church celebrates the Ascension of Jesus. The holiday is always marked on Thursday, 40 days after Easter. According to Christians, after the Resurrection Jesus remained on earth and preached among his disciples. On the 40th day he appeared to his disciples for the last time, talked to them and led them out of Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives before ascending to heaven. In Bulgarian the day is also called Spasovden (derivative of the verb meaning “to save”), because the Ascension completed the act of salvation.

According to folklore beliefs, Spasovden is related to the cult of the dead. On the eve of the holiday, people who are ill and infertile women used to sleep in meadows where dittany grew in order to get healthy. The day is a holiday of bakers and confectioners. People named Spas, Spasena, Spasimir, Spasimira, Spasiana, Spaska, etc. also celebrate today.

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