The Divine Day of Perun (Day of Thunderstorms and Heaven, Elijah the Prophet, Lammas)
Unlike many other holidays, this holiday is not tied to astrological dates and natural cycles. It is associated with specific historical events or deeds of prominent Slavic nobles, warriors or magicians.
Slavic God Perun is cherished twice – the Winter Day of Perun (it is called Perun's Day), is celebrated on January 14th according to the modern calendar. And the summer one – is celebrated on August 5th, it is called the Divine Day of God Perun or Perun's Day. Some communities celebrate this holiday on 1-2 or 4th of August. And many others are celebrating on July 20th, but this is a mistake because on July 20th it was celebrated according to the old style. But, by and large, the shift for several weeks for this holiday is not important, because, as I said, it is not tied to some kind of astrological natural cycles, and only God Perun is glorified. By the way, after the Baptism of Rus, the Perun's Day was replaced with the day of Elijah the Prophet, as many other Slavic holidays received their duplicates in the Christian calendar of holidays.
What holiday is it?
Perun-Thunderer was considered the main god of the Slavic pagan pantheon. First of all, he was perceived as the patron of warriors. Perun – is primarily a god of thunder, thunder-clap, and he is closely connected, in addition to fire, with the cult of water, wood, and stone. He is considered the ancestor of the heavenly fire, which, coming down to the earth, gives life. With the onset of spring heat, it impregnates the earth with rains and removes the clear sun from behind the clouds. The world is every time born again with his efforts.
If the winter Perun Day is dedicated to a specific military event, then considering the summer one, different researchers have different conclusions. But most people tend to believe that Perun's Divine Day is a "peaceful" holiday, which is connected with the fact that Perun once again decided to tell his descendants the highest truths.
Some information has been preserved – how his ritual part looked like. It is clear that in different territories the Slavs celebrated this day a little differently, but the main essence was the same – they glorified God Perun. A week before the holiday, the victims were selected and within a week the god had to show his will: was the choice made by people right, were these sacrifices acceptable to him? If the whole sky was cloudless all week, and storm clouds gathered only for the holiday, then the sacrifices were acceptable. Usually, fresh blood of birds and animals was sacrificed to Perun, according to other sources, the bull was sacrificed. A magic spell on weapons was committed on the sacrificial blood. The Magicians smeared the brow of every warrior with this blood, after which they put on red bandages on their heads. Military amulets were consecrated over the sacrificial fire. For the farmers, this holiday has always been a day of thanksgiving for the labors and a day of farewells to Perun, to whom was offered sacrifices and asked not to rattle and go to other countries. Because then the task of farmers was to collect the ripening harvest in dry weather.
And the magicians, wise men, and the healers made and consecrated the amulets that day, and also performed various rituals for themselves, their families and those who applied to them for help. But it was customary to ask not for material benefits on this day, but for the necessary qualities of character, calmness, wisdom or courage, a healthy strong state, strength, necessary skills or abilities, cleansing and protection from dark forces and magical influences.
The morning of Perun's Day started at the beginning of a general gathering of all the men of the community. Everyone had to have with him some kind of weapon, at least a knife, and an ax. During the start, armed men performed a solemn procession with a song. After the praises of Perun, the warriors proceeded to consecrate the weapons: swords, axes, spears, knives, maces and other cold weapons were placed on shields laid before the temple.
A special demand fire was lit, the high priest conducted various rituals, read instructions from the Vedas, people brought the demands (requests, asks, wishes) to the Slavic Gods and their Ancestors. Then they lit a big fire, like on the Kupala holiday. Around it was built three circle dances and, upon the Magician command, they began to move, singing hymns and creating a single stream of ancestral energy. After this, it was time for good fun. Despite the fact that Perun is considered to be the god of wisdom, his main function is military. Therefore, on Perun’s Day was customary to arrange spectacular fights on various types of weapons and hand-to-hand combats. At the end of the fights, men carried to the altar of Perun a boat with gifts, which was set fire to by the Magicians. The burnt ashes were covered with earth and they performed the funeral feast (remembrance of the dead) there and the strava (communal meal).
The holiday ended with a meal. The ritual meal on Perun's day was usually beef, game, chicken, porridge, and among drinks, there was honey (mainly at the prince's squad), beer, kvass. Everybody usually came on such holidays: starting from a month old child to the oldest man. Because the ancestral traditions occupied a key place in the system of values among the Slavs, and unity determined the strength of the clan, tribal clans, communities, ves (the whole of – from Slavic), lani and the whole race.
Summer Day of Perun was considered one of the main holidays when our ancestors glorified their mighty and noble patron. On this day, steel rang for the glory of the wise God, the warrior God, the defending God of all the Slavic race. By the way, with the onset of twilight, the Firebirds were launched on the Perun’s Day (August 5), on which they sang their desires. Launching the Firebirds on Perun’s Day is the final part of the ritual, which began on the day of the Summer Solstice on June 20th-22nd. The ritual of causing the rain was also associated with Perun. It consisted in bringing a "particularly bloody sacrifice" – pouring water on a specially selected woman))).
So this holiday ended, which reminded every descendant of the Slavs who they were and why they came to this world. He recalled the great god Perun, his wisdom and strength, his glorious deeds and eternal patronage.
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