[caption id="attachment_336" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="St. Ignatius, Source: The Internet"][/caption]On this day the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honours St. Ignatius of Antioch, student of John the Apostle. It is believed that he was one of the children Jesus took in His arms and blessed. St. Ignatius himself admitted that he believed in Jesus deep in his heart.St. Ignatius Day (Ignazhden) is a big church holiday. It is considered that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays start on this day.In the holiday’s eve vegetarian food is prepared. Usually, people put raw wheat and walnuts on the table. The oldest member of the family goes around with incense and charcoal to chase away the evil spirits. The ashes and candle nuts are retained for other holiday evenings.The custom "polazvane” is typical of this holiday. The people can tell what next year will be like by the person who enters first the house. If he is good, then prosperity and success will rein in the house throughout the year.The Christian tradition says that on this day Virgin Mary’s labors began. This is the period when young woman do not work to get pregnant and give birth to their children more easily.On Ignazhden, Ignatij, Igno, Ignjo, Igo, Igon, Iga, Ignatka, Igne, Iskra, Plamen and Ognyan celebrate their name day.
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