September 17 – Lukov day, Burning Bush, Vavila day
People also called September 17 the Festival of Sharp Pitchforks. It was believed that on this day it was easy to develop a fever (kumokha, oppression, shaking). And we drove this pain away from ourselves in the following way:
- The peasants represented fever in the form of an angry and dry old woman. They believed that she lived in haystacks, and during the period of colds she walked on the ground and mowed down everyone indiscriminately: men, women, young, old, and babies. To protect themselves from illness, on this day the peasants took sharper pitchforks and went to the haystacks. They took turns poking the hay with pitchforks, and if groans were heard at the same time, it meant that the fever had been defeated, and for most of the villagers the end of the year would pass in good health! If the pitchfork hit something hard, it meant the same thing.
The Church today honors the icon of the Mother of God “The Burning Bush”. Rumor has it that she is a fire protector. According to legend, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning but not consumed thorn bush and called upon the prophet to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In Christianity, the Burning Bush became a prototype of the Virgin Mary, and Orthodox Christians on this day pray to the icon of the Mother of God, which has a similar name. In the center of such an icon is Mary and the baby, and these images are enclosed in an eight-pointed star formed by two quadrangles — red and green. The green color symbolizes the bush itself, and the red color symbolizes the fire that engulfed it. Such an icon has been known since the middle of the 16th century, but a holiday in honor of it was established only in the next century.
The Slavs had a custom of walking around a burning house with an icon of the Mother of God of the Burning Bush so that the fire would subside. Fires were the worst evil for peasants, since they did not know how to fight them. True, they believed that a fire that occurred as a result of lightning could be extinguished with milk, beer, and kvass. They also said that if you throw a white dove into a burning house, the fire will go out. People tried to keep a black cat or dog at home, because they believed that these animals saved them from fire.
Signs of the day:
- The day turned out to be stormy and rainy — autumn will be dry.
- Large anthills in the forest mean severe frosts in winter.
- A lot of rowan — for a cold winter.
- If you go out into the yard with a pitchfork, you will scare away all the evil spirits!
- On this day you cannot give to the poor. It was believed that the fever, expelled from its abode, took the form of an old wanderer and walked around the villages with alms. Whoever gives it to her will be in her power all year. Also, in this case, you can bring poverty upon yourself.
- You need to pray in front of the “Burning Bush” icon on its day, and there will be no fire in the house, and the owners will not suffer from lightning next year.
- If suddenly there is a fire, you need to go around the burning house with this icon.
- Pigeons nest under the roof on this day — the house will not be damaged by fire in the coming months.
- The hare ran into the village — to a big fire.
- An owl hoots loudly — it means a fire.
- In order not to suffer from a fire, you cannot say on this day: “I am not afraid of fire.”
- Going on a visit means trouble.
Name days are celebrated today by: Mikhail, Ivan, Pavel, Julian, Stepan, Elena, Vasily, Moses, Peter, Gregory.