Saint George is a Christian saint, and his day is usually celebrated on April 23. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church, which follows the Julian calendar, celebrates the day on May 6. In Bulgaria, this day is known as the Day of Bravery. According to legend, a Roman soldier named George was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. Today, the name of Saint George has many patronages, and the day is observed in many places around the world.
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Yuri’s Day of Spring
In the Russian Orthodox calendar, St. Yuri’s Day falls on November 26. The celebration takes place on this day because it is the day of the consecration of the Church of the Great Martyr George, which was built by Tsar Yaroslav the Wise in Kyiv in the thirteenth century. The Tsar then issued a decree to celebrate this day on November 26. However, in the Julian calendar, St. George’s Day falls on May 6.
The day is celebrated in various regions of Russia. In the north-west of the country, Slavonia, people celebrate the day by weaving a giant basket from greenery. The basket is then carried through the village by men on foot or on horseback. The processions include men dressed in greenery and musicians.
The orthodox saint George day is a public holiday in Bulgaria. As the patron saint of the Bulgarian armed forces, the country celebrates this day with military parades in Sofia. The feast is also celebrated in the Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches twice a year. In Russia, the day is celebrated in May, while in Georgia it’s celebrated on November 23.
The festival is also observed in the Serbian and Eastern Orthodox churches. In Serbia, the day is celebrated as “Durdevdan”. In the Romani community, it is called “Gjurgovdjen” or “Girlenjajdan”. Other ethnic groups in the Balkans also celebrate this day.
The veneration of Saint George as a martyr originated in the Levant and was spread throughout the Byzantine Empire. However, the Syrian Breviarium does not mention George’s martyrdom. In the fourth century, a church was built in the town of Constantinople in honor of the “man of high distinction.” By the seventh century, the identity of St. George had been established and the church was rebuilt, but the third crusade led by the Sultan Saladin destroyed the church.
Among the numerous festivities held on the orthodox saint’s day, the town of Glola organizes a regional feast. A special liturgy is conducted in the village church. The community then gathers on a big field for a feast and toasts. Families prepare special cheese rolls and other food items for the celebration.
Glecerios’ crown of martyrdom
The orthodox saint George was a Christian who was put in prison. After being convicted, he was put in chains and his head was cut off. This led to the orthodox saint receiving his crown of martyrdom and his body was wrapped in expensive shrouds. Christians later built a great church named after him in Lydda.
His death was a great tragedy. The emperor Diocletian immediately sentenced Saint George to death. His execution was facilitated by the presence of two Roman officers, who came with two thousand soldiers to the city. The Roman officers, Anatolios and Protoleon, confessed their belief in Christ. They were impious and were put to death.
St. George’s beheading
On orthodox saint George day, we remember St. George’s beheading, which happened 380 years ago. His father was a Christian martyr, and after his death, his mother took him to Palestine to serve in the Roman army. Later, under Emperor Diocletian, he was commended for his services to the Empire. This led to a period of peace and prosperity for the Christian Church. During this time, Christians obtained important positions in the Roman government, built many churches, and organized the authoritative structure of the Church.
When Diocletian ordered St. George to be sacrificed to the gods, he resisted, making the sign of the cross and destroying the idols. This angered the people, who demanded that the martyr be killed. Ultimately, he was carried out of the city and beheaded. The beheading happened on April 23, 303 AD, and is commemorated on orthodox saint George day.