The Conception of the Immaculate Mother of God Ukrainian Greco Catholic Church

On August 19 ( according to the new order) Ukrainians celebrate the feast of Transfiguration. This is one of the greatest Christian holidays, it is one of the twenty most honored holidays. It commemorates the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ before his disciples on mount Tabor. His face became dazzling, his clothing radiant. The apostles realized the light and glory of God.

Transfiguration-revelation of the Son, as the Father testifies from the cloud of the Holy Spirit : “This is my beloved Son , on whom my favor rests, listen to Him .”

The popular name Apple Spas arose because grapes of the new harvest, and when these were not available, apples  and other produce were blessed before they were consumed.

At this time of year in Byzantium ( later Greece) grapes ripened. The faithful brought the first harvest to the church as their offering to the Lord and for the blessing of their harvest.

Ukrainians bless apples, pears, plums, and other fruits and vegetables and honey. Nowadays with the availability of different varieties, grapes can be included .

Apple Spas originated in pre-Christian times as a celebration of the beginning of autumn. Till that day it was forbidden for the Slavs to eat apple foods. It was unusual for anyone to neglect this custom. Especially obedient were people who lost children. There was also a legend that apples could not be eaten before Spas because the devil tempted Eve with an apple, and she tempted Adam. And this terminated life in paradise for the first people.

For farmers this celebration marked the completion of the harvest and end of summer. They marked the weather on that day : if the day was bright and cloudless, autumn would be dry. If it was rainy, autumn would be wet.

Apple Spas is the third midyear day  on which the dead are commemorated. (The others are Passion Thursday and Pentecost)  Customary foods for this day; apple vareneke, soups, baked foods, kompot.

Translated by Zenon Bilos

Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church
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