Christians Worldwide Celebrate AnnunciationSociety | March 25, 2012, Sunday // 11:26| views
An Annunciation of the Theotokos icon in the St. John of the Sea church in Nessabar, Bulgaria. Photo by Pravoslavieto.com
Christians throughout the world celebrate the feast of Annunciation Sunday - the day the Virgin Mary received the glad tidings that she will conceive and bear Jesus Christ.
The day, celebrated close to the spring equinox and Easter, is marked on March 25, but is moved in order not to coincide with Easter or the Sunday preceding it.
The feast celebrates the moment, when, according to Luke, Archangel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary the good news (evangelism) that she will be Mother of God.
The religious holiday is celebrated by Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians alike.
In Bulgarian folk traditions the day is connected to the return of migratory birds from the south, and the waking up of nature in spring.
Accordingly, the feast table has to include "something green," as well as fish.
A number of other traditions connected with birds have been preserved in Bulgaria, involving interpretation of one's encounter with them throughout the day.
Rituals to ward off snakes, forest fairies and other unclean forces have also been performed in the past.
In Bulgaria, people with names such as Blagovest, Blagovesta, Blagoy, Blaga, and Evangelina have name days Sunday.
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