In the Orthodox calendar, the eighteenth of February is the day when the holy martyr Agafya is venerated.
Traditions and signs on February 18th.
In Russia, February was usually associated with the end of stocks of hay and straw for livestock. That is why animals during this period needed special protection. Saint Agafia was considered in Russia the patroness and protector of cows, since animals needed protection most of all at this time. Since the animal feed reserves were running out, at that time the question of nursing old or sick cows became acute, as the hay was rapidly running out and the peasants had to decide on getting rid of one animal in favor of others. This period of the year was very difficult for the peasants, because in especially hungry years at this time, due to depletion and lack of food, cows died in whole herds.
Especially superstitious people associated such cases of cattle with the appearance in the village of evil spirits, which brings disease and the death of all living things. But in reality, such phenomena occurred in particularly lean years, when peasants simply could not stock up with enough hay for the whole winter.
The death of a cow, in the view of ancient people, appeared in the village in the image of a black cat or dog. Sometimes she was presented as a cow skeleton, as well as as a hunched old woman who walked around the village, leaning on a rake. The peasants believed that it was February 18th that this evil had a special power, therefore this day was considered especially dangerous for cattle.
In order to avoid disaster, people tried not to leave the house at all, and also locked cattle in the stables for several locks. People were so afraid of the appearance of cow death near the gates of their house that even the most obedient dogs that day sat on a chain so as not to attract the attention of uninvited guests to the house.
On this day, a large number of ceremonies were held that helped the peasants save the cattle from evil spirits. The most effective way was to leave a couple of old bast shoes that were saturated with tar in the stable. Ancient people believed that evil spirits could not tolerate the smell of tar, and therefore could not get close to animals. $5 minimum deposit casino
In the folk calendar, Agafya was considered the patroness of the eighteenth of February, whom people called the barn. This nickname was due to the fact that during this period of the year there was the beginning of calving, and the saint herself was considered the patroness and protector of cows.