The Orthodox Christians celebrate the Bread Savior Day on August 29. People also call it Nut or Third Spas.
Third Spas follows Honey Spas (August 14) and Apple Spas (August 19).
Its religious name is a transference of Image of Edessa.
Background of holiday
According to the legends, everything began with the visit of painter Ananias to Jesus Christ. Ananis brought a letter to Jesus. Ruler of Edessa city in Mesopotamia who was ill with leprosy asked Jesus to come and heal him.
The painter tried to paint the image of Jesus but failed. Then Jesus wiped his face with a towel and his face showed up on it. Later one of Christ’s apostles brought this towel to the ruler and he was healed.
On August 29, 944, Emperor of Byzantine Constantine Porphyrogenitus ordered to bring the uncreated icon of Christ from Edessa to Constantinople. The holiday was established that day.
Third Spas is also called Nut Spas for a reason. It is tied with the fact that people finished the harvest until the Third Spas and the hazelnuts are ripened and people gathered them.
In ancient times, people used to have fairs on this Spas so this holiday was also called Spas on canvas or Burlap Spas. It was considered that the trade took place very well on this day.
People bless nuts in the church and it is considered that it is allowed to eat the nuts of the new harvest from this day.
The main festive meal is korovai (bread, - 112.international) from the new flour and nuts. Besides, honey and apple should be present on the table. Guests and relatives were served with pies and dishes with nuts.
Moreover, there is a custom to bless water and clean wells on this day. It was considered that the water from the ground sources is healing.
Third Spas is also considered to be the time for preparation of apples and these fruits gathered during this period of time are nutritious and stored good.
Last swallows fly away on Nut Spas.
On this holiday people used to hold fortune-telling. Particularly, the girls guessed on nuts and got to know their destiny. The first taken nut had to be eaten and a girl had to define its taste. If it is sweet then she will have good luck in love affairs; if it is bitter then she will be disappointed.
Besides, Nut Spas is the traditional time for fairs and purchases.
People had to buy something on this day not to be short of money next year.
Proverbs and beliefs:
Third Spas brings the bread.
Good hazelnuts harvest means a good harvest of bread for the next year.
Swallows fly away three times on three Spases.