On January 17, the Orthodox Church honors the memory of St. Venerable Anthony the Great.
Antony was born in Middle Egypt around 251 to we althy but pious parents. When he was a young man of 20, he was left with only his we alth and his sister. He heard a heavenly voice that told him to give away all his riches and give himself up as a hermit. That's how he did it. He lived in an Egyptian rock-hewn tomb, where he was visited by various temptations.
Antony fought against them and did not even eat or drink water for days in order to become even stronger against them. He lived for many years in complete seclusion, but achieved peace of mind and became the father of many monks. Many people came to him and listened to his wise words.
According to many legends, in one night all kinds of vermin and beasts - snakes, scorpions, lions, wolves, bears and bulls attacked Antony and inflicted severe wounds on him. But then the saint was illuminated by a bright light and his wounds were healed.
Antony the Great did many good deeds and lived to the age of 105 and is believed to be one of the first desert fathers. He bequeathed to be buried secretly so that people would not know about his grave.
Folk beliefs and superstitions
According to folk beliefs on Antonovden, women should not spin, sew and cook beans, lentils, so that the children do not get sick from smallpox. For the holiday, everyone should make honey cakes or honey cakes.
In the Bulgarian folklore calendar, Antonovden is also known as Lelinden. This day was dedicated to the prevention of infectious diseases. Bread spread with honey was made and distributed to the children. Mandatory one piece went up to the ceiling and was called for the aunt.
Another legend tells that there were two twin brothers, Anton and Athanas, who invented the blacksmith's tongs. Therefore, their name days are celebrated one after the other, and on these days all blacksmiths, ironsmiths and cutlers celebrate.
The origin of the name Anton comes from the Greek word (antho), which means flower. According to some authors, the name Anton gained popularity thanks to the ancient Roman name Antonius, which means (entering into battle).
On January 17, name day is also celebrated by all people bearing the names Antonia, Antoinette, Anko, Andon, Toncho, Donyo, Donko, Donna, Donka.