One of the main Christian holidays, the Day of the Holy Trinity, is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter, this year it falls on June 20. About the history, traditions and meaning of this day.
The celebration of this day began in 381, when at the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople the doctrine of the three hypostases of God was approved: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On the same day, the fullness of the Holy Trinity was revealed.
In accordance with the New Testament, Jesus Christ, before Ascension into the Kingdom of Heaven, promised his disciples-apostles to send them the Holy Spirit for consolation from his Father. After the Ascension of Christ, the apostles gathered every day in the upper room of Zion in Jerusalem to read the Holy Scriptures and prayers. On the tenth day after the Ascension and on the 50th day after the Resurrection of Christ, the apostles in the upper room heard a noise. The fiery tongues that appeared rested on each of them. Thus, Jesus’ disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in different languages in order to preach to different nations.
Since then, the Day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit became the day of the creation of the Christian Church, which, through the efforts of Christ’s disciples, began to spread throughout the world. However, starting from the XIV century, the feast of the Trinity does not coincide with Pentecost among Catholics – it is associated with the glorification of the Holy Trinity and is celebrated a week later.
On the eve of the Day of the Holy Trinity, Orthodox Christians celebrate an all-night vigil in the churches, and the next day, on the feast of the Trinity, one of the most beautiful and solemn services is held in the churches. After the Liturgy, Great Vespers is served, glorifying the descent of the Holy Spirit, and three prayers are recited with kneeling of the clergy and parishioners. Thus, the post-Easter period ends, during which prostrations and knees are not performed in the temples.
Traditionally, Trinity temples are decorated with green branches and grass, symbolizing the renewal of believers through the Holy Spirit. Priests wear green robes – this color symbolizes the life-giving and renewing power of the Holy Spirit. On the following Monday after Trinity, the day of the Spirit is celebrated, dedicated to the glorification of the Holy Spirit.
Many of the rites performed on Trinity originated from the Green Christmastide. This holiday was celebrated at the end of May earlier, before the adoption of Christianity in the Slavic calendar, and marked the transition of spring into summer. Its main components were rituals associated with the cult of vegetation, girls’ festivities, commemoration of the dead. On Trinity week, teenage girls of 7-12 years old decorated the house outside and inside with birch branches, children danced around the decorated birch with songs, and a festive meal was arranged.
On the eve of the Day of the Holy Trinity, it was customary to remember the dead. This day is called parental day or “Soulful Saturday”.