Today, on August 19, the orthodox Christians celebrate Savior of the Apple Feast Day.
The holiday got such name as supposedly this day the transfiguration of Jesus took place upon a mountain. His face and clothes became white as the light.
According to the Bible, the apostles of Jesus got to know that their mentor is the Son of God; the voice from heaven told them about eternal glory of the second person of the holy trinity (Jesus). The people’s name of Apple Spas, Spas on Mountain originated from this story.
Apple Spas is the second among three Spases. Every year they are celebrated on the same days: on August 14 (Honey Spas), on August 19, (Apple Spas) and on August 29 (Nut or Bread Spas).
Traditionally, this day the festal divine services and blessing of the “harvest” baskets of the parishioners take place in the churches.
What people put in the basket on Savior of the Apple Feast
Of course, firstly, the apples are blessed. It is the first day when people are allowed to eat them.
It is noteworthy that women had to stick to this rule, especially those, who lost their children. There is a belief that the children will have the presents in the afterlife, including the paradise apples. Children whose parents ate the apples did not get the presents.
Moreover, it was considered that a human ripens in the same way as an apple, which fruit is green initially. It becomes ripe and obtains colors over time. Besides, believers are embracing the light of God gradually.
However, not only apples are blessed this day. The pears, grape, plums and peaches are put in the basket. It is allowed to put vegetables, including tomatoes and carrot. Honey, stalks of rye and wheat are also allowed. People may put bread, salt, horseradish (as a symbol of persistence in belief) or pastry with apple in the basket.
The richer the basket is, the better it is as it is a symbolical tribute to wealth and generosity of nature.
How to decorate the basket for Apple Spas
Moreover, it would be a good idea to pay attention to the decoration of the basket. It may be decorated with different ribbons and live flowers. They are embedded directly in the basket or the bouquet is made of them.
Concerning the ribbons, their colors should be quiet and light. Mint, marigold, lovage and thymus are mostly used as live flowers. It is considered that fresh green symbolizes joy and belief in an immortal life.
It is possible to cover the “harvest” basket with embroidered rushnyk or cloth with the national ornaments.
Besides, a candle should be put in the basket as it is the constant attribute of all religious events.
What people cannot put in the basket for Apple Spas
In no case, money, other material values and alcohol (excluding Cahors wines) can be put in the basket.
It is also important not to throw away the blessed products as they symbolize wealth and generosity of nature. They should be eaten at the festive table with relatives or friends. The leftovers should be given to the cattle or buried in the garden.
What was customary to do on Savior of the Apple Feast Day
The tradition of treating each other with apples is the important and obligatory part of the celebration of Apple Spas. On this day, people treated children, poor and ill people with them. It was considered that more apples you handed out, more kind and generous the God will be to you.
Moreover, people started the preparing of apples for winter. The apples are prepared on different: they are dried, soaked, bottled, and baked.
People believed that on this day all apples become healing. Also, all wishes made during the eating of the apple will come true. During the first bite of an apple a person made a wish saying: “What is wished – will come true, what comes trues – will not pass”.
What people are strictly forbidden to do on Apple Spas
There are no too strict bans on Savior of the Apple Feast Day; however, the holiday occurs during the Uspenskiy fasting, which does not allow violation of the lean-meat.
On this day it is recommended to refrain from the quarrels with relatives and close people or ill-wish. It is said that problems wished to others will return to you.
Besides, it is forbidden to sew, knit, clean up, to do construction work, to kill insects. Generally, it is better not to do any physical work despite cooking and cropping.