Before liturgy this morning my tutor (vestryman) was chatting with me and said he remembered from his childhood how people would have bonfires on the eve of today’s feast of the Nativity of St John.
I’m not sure whether these customs are still observed but it’s recorded that girls would make flower wreaths on this day and on the eve shepherds would build fires and visit the livestock. There was a connection between these fires and the fire of Badnje Vece in the same way there is a connection between Christ and St John the Baptist.
It’s amazing to think of all these beautiful customs which have seemingly disappeared. What remains are the customs on Christmas and Pascha. On the one hand one might argue that these folk customs drew people away from the real meaning of the feast. Yet it’s things we did in our childhood that remind us of the date; as if, in a way, it’s the other way around – the customs draw us to the feast.
Whatever the case I’m enjoying the sunshine today. This is my first blog post I’m doing on my cell phone. I’m starting a new custom of my own.