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Holy Thursday - the day filled with the most symbolism


On Holy Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Passover at the home of a resident of Jerusalem. Before evening, He ritually washed the apostle's feet with the words, "I came not to serves, but to be of service." During the supper, He distributed bread and wine to His disciples - His body and blood, thus establishing the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion).


During the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that he would be betrayed. On the night before Thursday, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane until the traitor came, and His death was attended on Holy Thursday. It was confirmed by the procurator of the Roman province of Judea, Pontius Pilate, who, for fear of being elected, did not dare to repeal it. He then publicly invented his hands as a sign that he was not guilty of the Sanhedrin's decision. That evening Jesus was crucified.


Maundy Thursday hides a lot of symbolism. The day is associated with things, which must not be done and with things that must necessarily be changed. Some of the traditions associated with this day have survived to this day, and for others we have only heard from grandparents.

Old people in the past on Maundy Thursday did not harness cattle for plowing or any work. On this day no garden work is performed, as well as sewn and knitted.




Maundy Thursday is a day of cleansing and purification.Unlike other days during Holy Week, Holy Thursday is not only allowed to clean the house, but is also mandatory. All kinds of vectors and unnecessary things are thrown out of the house, which will free up space for new wonderful experiences and emotions. That is why the day is also called Maundy Thursday - a time when we purify not only the home, but also our thoughts and soul. If cleaning is recommended today, washing is prohibited. It was believed that if women switched to Maundy Thursday or spread laundry to act on them, they would cause hurricane winds and hail. It is also not allowed to lend money or belongings from home.


During Holy Week (most appropriate on Holy Thursday), grandmother's advice to exchange children's haircuts for the first time. Young girls can also tear them to grow long and thick.


On this day the eggs are painted. In the past, children got up early in the morning and watched which hen would lay an egg first. This hen is not slaughtered because she had brought Easter. This egg was painted first. The first painted red egg is placed in front of the icon, where it remains until another big Thursday - a tradition preserved to this day. This egg is used to rub the cheeks and foreheads of children to make them healthy, rosy and smiling.


In Western Bulgaria, red eggs were eaten until Easter, ie. 40 days, then look to see more. The first red egg was placed between the beetles so as not to harm their eyes or left at the icon, and the next year it was seen whether it was complete or hollow: the full exposure full house, the hollow - bad. Or it was also placed in a nest, on the thatched roof of the cow or the coop, to take off on the Resurrection. Its shells are then placed on fresh beef shit glued over the doors, and its inside is closed in the stern to obtain "for health".


Sometime on this day, the yeast is renewed by replacing it in the dough (without ctap yeast) with some lightening herbs and leaving the dough overnight to sour itself. From this new or young yeast is cut during the year for light and against spells. A variety of ritual breads were kneaded - kpavai, bogovice, kolak, with various figures on them, and especially an egg surrounded by a dough wreath. Nowadays, on Holy Thursday, Easter cakes are baked and great cookies are baked.


In the Ohrid region they left a few eggs from Holy Thursday before the icon and kept them after 3-4 years, together with the prosphora that appeared in a church that day. They were thrown into the fire in case of fire, and it was believed that it would go out. Or if they licked the eggs on Holy Wednesday, in the morning they put 2 eggs in a sieve lined with scarlet cloth and left them against the sun to see when it rises. With these eggs rubbed children to whiten and red. Several eggs were laid in the evening in the church when the 12 Gospels were read: one of them was buried in a field or vineyard, for blessing, and others were left in front of the icon for "soldering" the bolt.


In eastern Thrace, the first snowy egg on Holy Thursday, it is painted and placed next to the icon - "for health": they went to church with it and, when it is better distributed, it is placed in the barn, the pigsty, etc. All eggs laid on this day are laid on the branches and stay there until St. George's Day, when they are born in the fields, against the bad clouds (hail). On this day, Easter cakes (breads) were kneaded and tasted.


Sources:

V. Cholakov - Bulgarian National Collection, Nova Zvezda Publishing House, Sofia, 2011

M. Arnaudov: Bulgarian National Holidays, Sirius 4 Publishing House, Veliko Tarnovo, 1996



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