The upcoming Friday, February 5, has become entrenched in the people’s memory as “Agathius the half-bastard.” This day in Russia was considered a time of economic concerns. At the same time, on February 5, our ancestors adhered to strict rules so as not to bring trouble on themselves and their home. What was strictly prohibited?
On February 5, the name day is celebrated by people with the name Agafangel, which is almost not found in our time. It came to us from Greece and in translation means “good messenger”. In Russia, this was most often called monks when they were tonsured.
For our ancestors, in addition, February 5 was considered a day of household chores. Agafangel (or simply Agathia) was nicknamed the “half-baker” due to the fact that on this day, as on the last Timofeev, it was supposed to check the grain in the bins. This day, thus, was the second chance for those who did not have time to perform the ceremony the day before.
Things to do on February 5:
– at noon go to the barn and check the supplies of grain and vegetables. If there are less than half of them left, cut the flow in order to hold out until spring;
– tidy up the barns, clean them;
– repair the walls and doors of the house (if required) and outbuildings;
– go to the field and see if there is a lot of snow on it.
The last rite was especially carefully performed by the peasants. By the amount of snow in the fields, they judged whether there would be enough moisture in the spring to water the land. On this occasion in Russia they said: “Snow is deep – bread is good“.
There was also a number of prohibitions on the day of Agathias the half-baker. Failure to observe them threatened misfortune and sorrow for those who dared to deviate from the traditions of their ancestors. What was absolutely impossible to do:
– be lazy and mess around;
– be greedy;
– dance uncontrollably, sing loudly and have fun (it was believed that this could bring trouble to a person).
By the way, on February 5, they paid special attention to the behavior of birds and animals. It was used to predict the weather for the coming weeks. The cry of a tit in the morning, for example, promised a severe frost. But the squirrel descending from the nest into the snow was a good sign, as it foreshadowed a thaw. The old-timers, in addition, said that the weather on Athanasius the half-baker before noon corresponds to the first half of the next winter, and in the afternoon – to the second half.
Happy birthday on February 5 should be congratulated:
Vladimir, Gennady, Evdokia, Catherine, Ivan, Joseph, Clement, Makar, Fyodor.