The Orthodox Church celebrates the great feast of the Introduction of the Virgin today.
The day honors the parents of the Mother of God – Saints Joachim and Anna. On this day, the 3-year-old Virgin Mary was introduced into the temple of God.
The day is also celebrated as Christian Family Day. One of the 12 great Christian holidays celebrated equally by Orthodoxy and Catholicism.
According to the Holy Scriptures, on this day the three-year-old Mary was taken by her parents St. Joachim and St. Anna in the Jerusalem Temple to serve God. Legend has it that her parents fulfilled the promise they made to God even before she was born.
The high priests and temple officials welcomed them by singing sacred hymns. The righteous parents returned with their relatives to Nazareth. Mary remained living in the temple, taking upon herself the duty of healing all the lonely and abandoned people in their sorrow.
This day becomes a symbol of the introduction of the young person into the temple, into the bosom of the church and faith, and of the Christian family, the prime example of which are the Virgin Mary and her husband – the righteous Joseph.
On this day, at the end of services in Orthodox churches, the faithful receive Holy Communion in order to gain strength for spiritual salvation in the fight against evil – in themselves and in the world.
By what the weather is like today, people guess what it will be like for the whole next year. If it is warm and sunny, the winter will be hot, the summer will be dry, and the fertility will be low. If it rains or snows, the winter will be snowy, the summer – rainy, and the harvest – rich.