George's Day in Autumn
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|Saint George's day|
Icon of Saint George
|Also called||Yuriev den'|
|Next time||16 November 2019|
Saint George's Day (Russian: Егорий Осенний, Egoriy Osenniy, "George's [day] in autumn", also just Юрьев день, Yuriev den' , "George's day"; Serbian: Ђурђиц/Đurđic) is one of two feasts of Saint George, celebrated on 16 November by the Russian Orthodox Church (26 November Julian Calendar) and Serbian Orthodox Church (3 November Julian Calendar), the other being Saint George's Day of Spring (6 May in the Gregorian calendar).
Yuri's Day in the Autumn, celebrated after the end of the agricultural year and the gathering of the harvest, had a special significance on the calendar of Russian peasants during the centuries when the system of Russian serfdom was becoming established. The Sudebnik of 1497 defined the two weeks' period around the Autumn Yuri's Day (one week before the feast and one week after it), as the only time of the year when Russian peasants were free to move from one landowner to another. A century later, in 1597, Boris Godunov's regency forbade the movement of peasants on Yuri's day, thus finalizing the evolution of Russian serfdom.
A popular Russian expression harking back to that unfortunate event still survives ("вот тебе, бабушка, и Юрьев день", roughly translated: "so much for Yuri's Day, Granny", referring to a broken promise or, more generally, to any failed expectation). The Russian word "объегорить" (meaning to deceive or fool someone, literally, "to Yegor around", with Yegor (Russian: Егор)) also being one of the variants of the name "George") has the same origin.
- Alexander Panchenko, Review of the book by Laura Stark, Peasants, Pilgrims, and Sacred Promises: Ritual and Supernatural in Orthodox Karelian Folk Religion
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