September 14, 2021
Today the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the church holiday for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, called by the people the Day of the Cross.
The Holy Orthodox Church worships the cross of the Lord four times a year – on the third Sunday of Lent, called the Adoration of the Cross, on Good Friday, August 1 and September 14.
According to an ancient custom, water is consecrated on this day and priests sprinkle a cross on the homes for blessing.
According to church tradition, St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, was a zealous Christian. She went to the Holy Places in Palestine to look for the tomb of the Lord, which two centuries earlier had been buried by the persecutors of Christians. Her efforts were successful. The cave of the tomb was found, as well as three crosses. Which of the three is the cross of Christ became clear when a recently deceased person was resurrected by touching one of them. Helen sent a part of this life-giving cross to her son in Constantinople, and the cross itself was placed in the main church in Jerusalem.
After a while, a temple was built over the cave of the Lord’s tomb, which still exists today. It was solemnly consecrated on September 14, 335. Thousands of pilgrims gather on this day. In order for everyone to see the Holy Cross, the bishop raises it or “raises” it above the heads of those present. From this “exaltation” gets its name and the holiday.
According to the tradition of the Day of the Cross, a strict fast is observed. The national holiday is associated with the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn agricultural season. The sowing of winter cereals can start from the Day of the Cross or from the Day of Simeon / September 1 /. On the Day of the Cross, the seed for sowing is “illuminated”. In some parts of the country the holiday is called a grape harvest because the grape harvest begins.