The Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar on January 14 celebrate the Feast of Saint Basil the Great, who is considered one of the greatest hierarchs of the Christian Church. By tradition, on the Eve of the Feast of Saint Basil the children go singing specific New Year songs. On January 14, when it is also celebrated New Year according to the old style, the children go ‘sowing’ and the ‘sowed’ people offer them walnuts, candies, knot-shaped bread and money, IPN reports.
The Liturgy of Saint Basil, which is held in the morning, is followed by a Te Deum for the new year. The priests “sow” the parishioners with corn and wheat grains, wishing them health and property in the new year.
Basil the Great became holy during his lifetime, owing to his philanthropic work. He was an influential theologian known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. He established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labor. He is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity.
The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great is held ten times a year, on the Lord’s feast days and on Sundays during Lent.
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