The holiday of Dormition of the Mother of God was set to commemorate the death of the Mother of God. Believers are preparing for the celebration by a two-week fast, called Feast of Dormition, which lasts from August 14 to 27.
Dormition is the last, 12th holiday of the Orthodox church year.
By the time of her death, Mary lived in Jerusalem. One day during the prayer at the Holy Sepulcher, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and told that in three days she would die. According the church legend, on this day the apostles, preaching in various countries, miraculously gathered in Jerusalem to say goodbye and hold the burial of Virgin Mary.
The apostles buried Mary in the tomb of Her parents. After the burial, the apostles closed the entrance to the cave with a stone. Currently, there is a church named after the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin. Pilgrims from all over the world come to this temple.
On the same day the apostles gathered together at the meal, and the Virgin Mary appeared to them surrounded by angels and said: "Rejoice, for I am with you in all the days." Thus the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary is considered a holiday, and not the day of sorrow, because She was finally reunited with her Son.
The shroud of Christ with Mary’s image is brought out for worshipping in the temples on August 27. The shroud of Christ remains in the middle of the temple till the burial ceremony, when it is carried by procession around the church. Feast rite takes place on August 28.
The folk traditions of this day
Feast of Dormition of the Mother of God coincides in time with the harvest reaping. People also call the feast the Day of the First Holy Mother of God. During the autumn period there are three Holy Mothers: the first one sows the rye, the second one - water with the rain, and the third one covers with snow."
The Day of the First Holy Mother of God is considered the best time for weddings. They say, "if you do not find the fiance before the Dormition, you will not marry until spring".
There is a superstitious belief that you cannot wear old or uncomfortable shoes on this day - to avoid problems in life. If you have a callus on this day, rubbed by the old shoes, then the road to success will be quite difficult. It was also believed that one should not walk on the dew: those who walk on dew barefoot will have all the illnesses, because on this day the earth grieves over Mary and this dew is the tears of the Earth for her.
It is believed that it is possible to predict the weather in autumn and winter on the Dormition day: "Hoarfrost on trees – there will be frosts, fog predicts thaw." If the frost appears on the trees this day, the autumn will be early and short, frosts will come quickly. If there is a strong fog, there will be warm days for a long time.
As it was reported earlier Ukraine marked the Day of Baptization of Kyiv Rus. There was a holiday service at St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kyiv. Kyiv residents mark the anniversary of Christianization of Kyiv Rus on July 28.