[caption id="attachment_284" align="alignleft" width="216" caption="Аpostle Andrew or the First-called, Source: The Internet"][/caption]On this day the Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorates St. Andrew or the First-called. He is believed to be the first who was called to follow Jesus Christ. On November 30th Andrew, Andrea, Andriyan, Desho, Deshka, Hrabur and Hrabra celebrate their Name Day. It is believed that Apostle Andrew headed for the Northern countries and dedicated himself to zealous preaching along the Black Sea Coast as well as in today Russia.The Gospel tells the story of how St. Andrew fed people with five loaves of bread and two fish. The pagans prosecuted St. Andrew. St. Andrew won new adherents with his eloquence, miracles and virtuous life. St. Andrew was sentenced to death on the cross because of his Christian faith.In Northern Bulgaria St. Andrew’s Day is known as Bears’ Day. According to folk beliefs, St. Andrew fought with a bear, managed to harness it to a plow and plowed the land. On this holiday’s eve, maize grains and vegetables are soaked. Wheat, millet and chickpeas are added (i.e. grains from all the cultures that are sown in the field). The next morning, the grains are boiled and then the house owners throw the seeds up to the chimney so that they grow high later in the field.It is believed that winter starts on St. Andrew’s Day.
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