The Christians celebrate three Savior Days in August: Honey Spas, Apple Spas, and Nut Spas. The dates of the holidays remain unchanged from year to year.
It is considered that the holidays were named in honor of Jesus Christ and Savior.
Savior of the Honey Feast Day (First Spas, Makoviya)
Two-week Uspenskiy fasting begins on Honey Spas. It originates from Byzantine, where in ninth century parts of God’s Cross were carried through Constantinople to clean up the city from epidemics and evil spirits.
Seven martyrs Maccabees are honored on this day. They headed the rebellion for the faith in a singular God. They were harshly punished for it.
Besides, according to the legend, on August 14, Volodymyr the Great was baptized. Therefore, this day people blessed Dnipro water, bathed cattle and cleaned the wells.
Makoviya is not just a religious holiday. Starting from this people began the autumn filed work and honey harvest; the swallows started to fly away and people prepared for the end of the summer.
According to the ancient customs, water, honey and poppy are blessed on this day. People cook lean borshch with mushrooms and shulyky (buns with a poppy). The bouquets of flowers and grasses “maccabees” are brought to the church. It is considered that if a person does not bless the flowers on the First Spas then the household will not prosper.
On First Spas people bath horse (cattle).
First Spas means first planting.
Traditions of other countries
In Serbia, people bless water this day using new basil. People do now swim this day and people who work may become ill with a terminal illness.
In Macedonia, women are forbidden to do the laundry or bath children during the first day and or a few first days-Maccabees.
In Bulgaria, brothers-in-law took a gift and visited the wife’s parents, kissed their hands.
Savior of the Apple Feast Day (Great Spas, Second Spas)
People prepare for the Apple Spas for two weeks. Particularly, they do not eat apples. Especially, it concerns the women who are warned from the sinful deed of Eve.
One more belief: if the parents did not eat the apples for two weeks before the holiday the children will have the presents in the afterlife, including the paradise apples. Children whose parents ate the apples did not get the presents. Due to this, a lot of parents, especially those whose children passed away, considered the eating of the apple before the Second Spas as a great sin.
How Second Spas took place, the same January will be.
Dry day predicts dry autumn, wet day – wet autumn, clear day means severe winter.
People bless apples, honey, and peas in a pod in the church this day.
It is considered that on this day all apples become healing. Also, all wishes made during the eating of the apple will come true, so people make a lot of the meals with apples. People also begin preparation of food for winter on this day.
Traditions of other countries
In eastern Serbia a master shot sunflower growing in the vineyard; it was considered that the further its seeds splattered the bigger the harvest of the vineyard will be.
In Moravia and western Slovakia was a special ceremony called “locking of the vineyard”.
Bread Savior Day (Third Spas, Nut Spas)
People finished the harvest until the Third Spas and baked the cakes from the new harvest flour. That is why it is called Bread Spas.
At this time the hazelnuts are ripened and people gather them that is why this holiday is also called Nut Spas.
This day people sell canvas and fabric and the buyers were obliged to choose something not to be short of money.
Third Spas saves bread.
Good hazelnuts harvest means the good harvest of bread for the next year.
Swallows fly away three times on three Spases.