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Bulgarians associate Day of St. Anthony with protection from diseases

Photo: library

The Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of St. Anthony the Great, one of the first Christian hermits and founder of monasticism. He was born in Egypt in the year 251 and lived for 105 years. After a long spiritual struggle he achieved holiness and received the gift of healing from God.

Bulgarians call the day Antonovden. More than 80,000 people with the names of Anton, Antonia, as well as those named Andon, Donika, Doncho, Donka, Dona, Toncho, Tonka, Tonko, Tonya, Tony celebrate today.

In the folk calendar, Antonovden is associated with rituals performed for protection against diseases. According to legends, St. Anthony and St. Athanasius were brothers, who invented the blacksmith tongs. Therefore, the Day of St. Athanasius follows Antonovden and all blacksmiths and ironworkers celebrate.

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