Podcast in English
Bulgarian National Radio © 2022 All Rights Reserved

On January 18 Orthodox Church honors the memory of St. Athanasius the Great

Once the Day of St. Athanasius comes, the spring is near

Photo: library

On January 18, the Orthodox Church revers the memory of St. Athanasius the Great. St. Athanasius the Great was an Egyptian theologian and man of God, Patriarch of Alexandria from 328 until 373 AD. He was the first to have popularized monasticism which originated in Egypt through Europe.

According to popular belief, St. Athanasius is a patron saint of the winter, ice and cold weather. The legend has it that on this day St. Athanasius went up into the mountains on a white horse. He took off his winter coat, put a silk shirt on and called out: “Go away winter, come summer!” It is said that from this day on the day begins to grow by one millet seed a day.

In Popular beliefs, Anthony and Athanasius are twin brothers. This is one of the principal feast days when the villagers make sacrificial offerings together- for health and prosperity.

In Bulgarian tradition, this is the day celebrated by al people named Atanas, Atanaska and their derivatives. Blacksmiths also celebrate on this day. According to the legend, St. Anthony and St. Athanasius were blacksmiths and even invented the blacksmith tongs. How this happened and why in some areas the Day of St. Anthony and the Day of St. Athanasius are called “sweet and honeyed” and what types of prohibitions people observe on these days? You can find more details in Radio Bulgaria’s article “Sweet and honeyed – the Days of St. Antony and St. Athanasius”.


Editing by: Elena Karkalanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

St. Kliment Ohridski Church in Skopje - main temple of the Macedonian Orthodox Church

Will the Ohrid Archbishopric turn into the apple of discord in Orthodox Christianity?

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recently recognized the Macedonian Orthodox Church, but under the name Archbishopric of Ohrid. Thus, the Macedonian Church, which seceded from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967, is no longer schismatic and the..

published on 5/16/22 3:05 PM

Bulgarian National Revival figure to be canonized as Macedonian saint

The Macedonian church is to canonize hieromonk Yoakim Kurchovski , a prominent figure of Bulgaria’s National Revival Period on 22 May at Osogovo monastery in North Macedonia. He is titled “first Macedonian enlightener and teacher of Macedonians from..

published on 5/7/22 4:15 PM

It is Ramazan Bayram – a major holiday for Muslims in Bulgaria

This year, May 2 holds a special importance for Muslims in Bulgaria. Today begins the Ramazan Bayramı (Eid al-Fitr) - the three-day holiday that Muslims celebrate at the end of the special month of foregiveness known as Ramadan. The exact..

published on 5/2/22 8:25 AM