Rus Articles Journal

Thunder-storm. What Russian beliefs are connected with it?

the Thunder-storm is always a picture surprisingly spectacular and impressive. Deafening peals of a thunder, the sparkling lightnings, water streams as if broken from depths of a firmament, every time is cast over the person of sensation of fear and awe. For the Russian people the thunder-storm long since had a sense really intimate, sacral.

the Thunder-storm - the grace of God

In pagan times a thunder-storm was a symbol of divine providence. Slavic god Perun was considered as the master of a thunder and lightnings. With adoption of Christianity began to pray for a rain to Ilya - the prophet. On ancient beliefs, he drives about on the sky on the fiery chariot harnessed by brisk “zlatoognenny“ horses and metat a spear in demons. At this moment there is also a thunder-storm. The thunder heard by us is a roar of the rushing chariot. And lightnings are a spear of Ilya - the prophet, in any place overtaking evil spirit. Said, for example, that the lightning strikes in that tree behind which the devil hides. Under the burned-down tree it is possible to find a piece of the stiffened pitch is, allegedly and there is a proof of death of dirty.

The lightning from time immemorial installed in people awe and fear at the same time. Believed that the house which lit up from a lightning stroke is God`s “favor“, a penalty which is forbidden to resist. About the fires which arose during a thunder-storm there is a mass of national signs. First of all, they concern very unusual way of suppression of fire. So that to calm down fire, the fire was filled in with milk, kvass or beer. From water, on beliefs of peasants, fire only inflames more. Other method to pacify a flame - to throw into it the consecrated Easter egg. Besides, around the fire, as if on four corners, at identical distance among themselves there were four persons who are considered decent in the village and said prayers with icons in hands. To the dead from a lightning stroke the relation was ambiguous. Was considered that it and punishment for sins, and the certificate on favor of the God who marked out thus the certain person and took away it to himself. Sometimes the dead from a lightning were considered even as Saints.

At the same time, many ways to save the house from a lightning are known. As charms served brands from the fire caused by “heavenly fire“. There was an opinion that the lightning does not hit twice into one place, and therefore brands carefully stored in each house. For protection of the dwelling against a fireball jambs of doors and windows greased with milk. With the same purposes under a roof strengthened the birch branches consecrated on the Trinity.

will not burst the Thunder - the man will not cross

Most of all residents of villages were afraid of so-called dry thunder-storms - thunder-storms without rain. When they happened, the head of the family appealed with to Saint Ilya “to open“ heaven and to allow to spill to a saving rain.

Noticed that had especially powerful force of a thunder-storm on the St. Elijah`s Day, on August 2. According to a national calendar, it is the last summer day when Ilya - the prophet destroys demons in heaven. The set of signs is connected with this date too.

Prayers served in churches, houses lit candles and said prayers. In order to avoid trouble cattle did not even expel on meadows. Hostesses this day carried out additional ceremonies in the houses. Quickly closed chimneys, doors and windows. Was considered that potential threat is born by objects with a brilliant surface: mirrors, samovars, ware, windows.

It is explained by the following belief. Evil spirit, disappearing from kopyev Ilya - the prophet, likes to hide just behind brilliant objects. But well-aimed a spear all the same overtake to indulge where it would not hide. Therefore lightnings so often hit into houses and, therefore, cause the fire. Therefore, having caught the first peals of thunder, people hurried on houses, closed and curtained windows, covered with towels a samovar and mirrors, covered with covers and christened ware.

On assurances of the senior generation, during a thunder-storm strictly - it is strictly forbidden to eat and even to open a mouth not to allow the demon who is rushing about from lightning prosecution. Considered that it is dangerous to be by the window. At the same time, it was forbidden and to work. It was necessary to take care also of appearance: it was guilty to go with untidy hair, the sprained dress. Sometimes said that it is impossible to point a finger at a lightning not to court trouble.

On window sills put icons a face on the street. And on a porch exposed an iron crutch, considering that the lightning is afraid of it. Usually, all family kept in an outer entrance hall to manage to escape in case of fire. At the same time an entrance door left opened - as a sign of God`s humility to will. At last, the old Russian custom in hours of raging of elements is known (whether it be a blizzard or a thunder-storm) and the fires to ring bells. Bell-ringing in these cases acted not only a charm from evil spirit, but also was in the way best in those days to give a saving signal to the travelers lost on the way.

On an old Russian legend, during a thunder-storm the angered God opens true heaven. Thus it shows to sinners what waits for them after death, in the Last Judgement. Countrymen knew: even one lightning stroke is capable to cause the strongest fire which can destroy the whole settlements. Thunder-storms - as the proof of divine omnipotence and illusoriness of human achievements.

And today the elements sometimes strike us with the force and power. Perhaps it is worth following an example of former times and to begin to respect seriously the nature?