On the first day of the New Year, Saint Basil is celebrated. On this day, it is good to have a good thought, because everything is “renewed”.
It is said that as the guest of this day, rich or poor, will be so all year round.
Over 530,000 Romanians celebrate their name day on the first day of the new year. Over 450,000 are men and about 80,000 are women.
It is an opportunity to send messages from St. Basil for many years.
Who was Saint Basil
The Holy Hierarch Basil the Great (born in 330 AD in Caesarea Cappadocia, in a noble family, who gave the Church famous ministers and scholars, some of whom were passed among the saints.
His grandfather was a martyr for Christ during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. It was his older sister who urged the brothers to serve the Savior. The younger brother was bishop of Sevastia. He studied in Constantinople and Athens, where he became close friends with St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and then returned to Caesarea, where he taught rhetoric for a short time.
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At the urging of his sister, he was baptized into the Christian faith, distributing his share of wealth to the poor. Then he retired in 358 to a monastery in Pontus, where he led a life of asceticism and prayer. After a trip to the great monasteries and hermitages of Egypt, he returned to Pontus and wrote his first writing on public life in the monastery, called “The Rules of Monastic Life.”
In 364, he was summoned to Caesarea by Bishop Eusebius and was ordained a priest, making an important contribution to the fight against Arian heretics. The pastorate he began from now on was dedicated especially to the needy, organizing the famous asylums, hospitals and homes for the rehabilitation of the morally fallen, all grouped under the name of “Vasiliade”.
However, his missions in the spiritual realm, as a priest and then as bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, were particularly energetic, standing out in the fight against heretics and the reconciliation of the Churches during schisms.
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Saint Basil the Great died in 379, at the age of only 49, as a true pillar of the Church of his time, a point of reference in the history of universal Christianity. His writings contain works of profound dogma, such as “Against Eunomius” or “On the Holy Spirit,” ascetic works, such as “Rules of Monastic Life,” “On God’s Judgment,” and epistles. He had a special contribution to the structuring of church services, composing a Holy Liturgy that bears his name.
He is one of the saints who is said to have performed the greatest miracles. He is the first hierarch to establish, in addition to churches, asylums and hospitals for the poor, a leper colony and a settlement for the recovery of prostitutes.
Saint Basil: The meaning of the name
Saint Basil the Great is celebrated in the Orthodox Church on January 1 and January 30, along with Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Saint Basil is one of the most complex figures in the Church’s tradition. “The first partygoer”, the “guardian of evil spirits” and “with great power over the devils”.
The name Basil, widespread throughout the Christian world, comes from the Greek basileios, which in turn is related to basileos, “king”, “emperor”, “basileu”.
The Latins rendered it through Basilius. In our country today it is the current form Vasile (in the old Vasilie it seems that even the conservative church language has given up), with the popular abbreviation Sile. Women like Vasila or Vasilca are quite rare today, with the name Vasilica being preferred. The most common diminutives are Vasilica and Sică / Sica.
Saint Basil: Customs from January 1st
The habit of hating
It is said that St. Basil prayed to God to give him a day, and the Lord gave him the first day, the New Year. Blessed, St. Basil took a bell, tied a twig of basil to its handle, and went up to God to wish him good things. That is why it is customary to hate St. Basil.
On New Year’s Day, children go from house to house with Sorcova, especially to acquaintances, wishing them a long life, health and prosperity. Sorcova was made, at first, from one or more branches of fruit trees or roses, cut and put in water to sprout and bloom from the day of St. Andrew (November 30) or Santa Claus (December 6). Then the sorcova began to be made from a twig with twigs adorned with colored woolen threads, tinsel, and a thread of basil on top. In Bucovina, sorcova has a bell attached.
Today, sorcova is made of colored paper and artificial flowers. After the carol is finished, Sorcova is kept for a year, hanging on the east wall of the house, on the icon or in another clean place of the household.
The custom of Untying the Year
Small groups or groups of boys unleash the year and the fruit by roaming the streets, and the commotion they make with their whips, horns or pots aims to remove the evil forces: drought, wheat weeds, insects and animals harmful to the harvest. The virgins also untie the weddings with an enchantment: “Let us release the hats / Let’s marry the girls / Walk, boys, / Let them be suitors.”
In some rural areas, unmarried girls build decks of two sprigs of sweet apple, with tied basil, a silver pear with red thread, a ring, a handkerchief and a string of beads. If the deck is full of frost, it is said that the girl will marry a rich man. Otherwise, her husband will be poor.
Unmarried girls go to the stable or the kitchen, kick the cow or the pig and say “this year” or “next year”. If the pig barks or the cow moves from the first cry, the girl will get married in the coming months. If she moves on to any of the following cries, the girl will get married in a year or two.
In the popular tradition, Saint Basil also appears as a “great drunkard”, who rides on the poloboc, and parties and parties are held for his birthday. In fact, he prayed to God to give him a day, and the Lord gave him the first day, the New Year.
Saint Basil: Superstitions from the first day of the year
- On the day of Saint Basil the Great, the first person to enter the house must be a man, according to tradition. Otherwise, the year will be poor.
- In order to get to work in the new year, on an empty stomach, every person has to take the tool he works with and handle it three times.
- Also on St. Basil’s Day it is said that it is good to drink a lot of wine – as long as the man drinks on this day he will have blood on his cheek during the year.
- On the first day of the year, in order for the family to do well, it is customary to boil a pig’s head in a pot. Just as the pig stays ahead, so the man will walk in abundance.
- On Saint Basil’s Day, it is believed that it is good to pour wine on the table, to break a white glass, to overturn the box of matches or to give alms to a poor man. That way, you’ll be in luck all year long.
- For health, people usually wipe their face with a gold or silver towel after washing their face.
- On the other hand, if you sleep on St. Basil, it is believed that you risk being lazy all year round.
- Popular tradition says that everything is renewed on the New Year and that is why people have to put a good thought on the first day of the year, so that they can do well all year round: “Then be careful not to get upset, not to be You are happy, and you will be happy all year long. ”
- It is also said that just as New Year’s Day is, so it will be all year long: good or bad. If it is very cold on January 1st and if you see a lot of stars in the snow, it is a sign that next year will be good and there will be many weddings. If it snows on St. Basil’s Day, next year will be abundant, and if it is clear and cold, people will be healthy throughout the year.
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