Spiritual developmentChristianity

Twice the feast. All Twelve Orthodoxy Holidays

Every day the church honors the memory of a saint or celebrates an event. Any church festival carries a deep meaning - this is how such celebrations differ from those of the secular: they are always edifying, educating people, encouraging them to do good things and adjusting to the right way.

To better comprehend what twelve holidays are, you should look for similar ones in the secular calendar. For example, can there be a similar city day similar ? Of course, no - this is a fun and with an excuse, but for no reason. Or the New Year? This is a celebration, loved by everyone, but empty - to sit at a table, make a noise at night, and in the morning to collect pieces of dishes broken by guests from the floor - that's the whole point! The only event, perhaps, which somehow resembles a twelve-day holiday, is Victory Day. This celebration inspires, gives life guidance, edifies. The same happens in the soul of a believer during church festivals.

Orientation of national traditions

Twelve Orthodoxy holidays are special days dedicated to the main events of the worldly life of Christ and his mother, the Blessed Virgin. In total, such celebrations are twelve, therefore they are called the twelve. A thousand years ago a tradition of their celebration arose, and now they are celebrated all over the world not only by Orthodox Christians, but also by convinced atheists. Such interest is not accidental - it is the church feasts (twelve) that expressively and perfectly reflect the customs and the national culture of society. In the Slavic land, they were affirmed step by step, sweeping aside demonic ritual and dark prejudices and filling with elements of ancient Slavonic traditions. Their formation was lengthy and complex. Only thanks to the Orthodox Church, most of these celebrations have survived. It was she who was banned, proscribed and persecuted for more than 8 decades of the 20th century, took the Christian faith under protection and saved the people's Orthodox heritage.

What are the twelve-day celebrations for people

These days for believers are the peaks of jubilation in the year, the days of approaching Jesus, the days of salvation. They rejoice that the Lord turned his attention to people, that the Mother of God, being the same person as us all, became in the Kingdom of Heaven, and everyone can address her with the words: "Save us." Believers celebrate what is already here on earth, a person can connect with God. Such celebrations give people hope, strengthen faith, awaken love in their hearts.

General concepts

Twelve holidays are delimited according to:

  • Content - the Lord's (the Lord's), the Theotokos, the days of the saints;
  • Solemnity of the church service: small, medium, great;
  • Time of celebration: motionless, mobile

Eight days are set for the glorification of Jesus Christ, four for the veneration of the Virgin Mary, which is why some are called Lord's, and others are the Theotokos. Easter to such celebrations does not apply - this is the most important and beautiful festival. If the twelve days are like stars, pleasing people with their twinkling, Holy Easter is like the sun, without which life on earth is impossible, and before the brilliance of which any stars fade.

Next, briefly tell about every twelve-day holiday.

September 21 - The Nativity of the Virgin

This date is the birthday of the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary. Little is known about the worldly life of a woman who gave salvation to the whole world. According to legend, the pious Anna and Joachim had no children for a long time. One day, in prayer, they vowed that if a child was born, they would designate him to serve God. After this, both of them dreamed of an angel, he announced that an unusual child would soon appear, and the glory of him would sound throughout the great land. As evidenced by the events known to everyone, this prophecy has come true.

September 14 - Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord

This twelve-day festival is dedicated to the worship of the Cross, where the Savior took torment and death. This Cross, as well as the burial place of Christ, were found in the holy land by Queen Helena three hundred years later.

November 21 - Introduction to the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When the Virgin Mary was three years old, righteous parents decided that it was time to fulfill the vow given to the Lord. To consecrate God, they left their only daughter in the temple, where she, immaculate and sinless, began to prepare intensively for the Mother of God.

January 7 - Christmas

This is one of the most important Christian holidays. Officially, he is declared the birthday of Jesus. In the Gospel it is told that Mary and Joseph - the parents of Christ - were forced to spend the whole night in a cave, there a baby and was born. After his birth, the cave lighted up, and in the sky the brightest star shone brightly.

January 19 - Epiphany, or Epiphany

In the year 30 of the new era in the city of Bethavar, on the Jordan bank, on that very day, the sinless, thirty-year-old Jesus was baptized. He did not have to repent, he came to sanctify the water and give it to us for holy baptism. Then the Savior went to the desert for 40 days in search of divine enlightenment.

February 15 - The Presentation of the Lord

This twelve-day festival is dedicated to the meeting, that is, the meeting of the God-Receiver Simeon, who was awaiting the Savior of the World with impatience, with Jesus, a 40-day-old baby, whom the parents first brought to the temple for consecration to God.

April 7 - Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Blessed Virgin)

Apparently, in the history of the human race there are two primary events: this is the birth and resurrection of Christ. From the Archangel Gabriel on March 25 (according to the old style) the Virgin Mary received the good news that the birth of the Savior of the world was foreshadowed. Hence the name "Annunciation".

On the eve of Easter, on Sunday - Palm Sunday

After spending forty days in the desert, Jesus entered Jerusalem. On this date, the believers are sad, realizing what suffering and suffering were to come in the following days to Christ. The strict post of Holy Week begins.

40 days after Easter, on Thursday - the Ascension of Our Lord

Twelfth day in honor of the day when Jesus ascended to heaven, but promised to return. Note that the number 40 is not accidental. In sacred history, this is the time when all the feats are over. In the case of Jesus, this is the completion of his earthly ministry: on the 40th day after the Resurrection, he was to enter the Temple of his Father.

On the 50th day after Easter, on Sunday - the Holy Trinity

Sometimes the Trinity is called Pentecost. The Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on this day and made them prophets. In this phenomenon revealed the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

August 19 - Transfiguration of the Lord (Savior)

Christ for a short time before the crucifixion, along with his disciples John, Peter and Jacob ascended Mount Tabor for the performance of prayer. While Jesus was praying, the disciples fell asleep, and when they woke up they saw that He was talking to God the Father. At that moment, Christ was completely transformed: His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became snow-white.

August 28 - Assumption of the Mother of God (Theotokos)

This is a symbolic day (it is not indicated in the canonical texts) of the death of the Virgin Mary. The Mother of God lived a rather long life - seventy-two years by the standards of the first century of the new era.


All the twelve holidays have their symbolic images. The icon of a celebration in honor of which the temple is consecrated can be placed on the iconostasis in the second row from the bottom or in the local row. In temples where there is a complete iconostasis, icons of twelve holidays are usually placed between the Deesis and the local rows.

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