Marian feasts

February 2ndThe Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (in Poland known as Our Lady of the Blessed Candle [Matki Bożej Gromnicznej])

It was believed that on that day Mary wanders around fields with a candle (Polish: gromnica) to protect winter crops, to lead and protect the lost from wolves. The candles brought to the church by believers are blessed and taken home to guard against thunderbolts  (Polish: gromy, hence the name) and other natural disasters.

March 25thThe Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Poland known as Our Lady of Opening [Matki Bożej Roztwornej] or Our Lady of Warming [Matki Bożej Zagrzewnej])

Mary was worshipped as the Patroness of the awaking nature. It was associated with opening and sprouting of seeds in the earth, as well as warming them up.

May 31st (prior to 1969 July 2nd) – The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Poland known as Our Lady of Berries [Matki Bożej Jagodnej])

It was believed that all kinds of berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, wild strawberries, gooseberries, cranberries, currants) could be eaten only after July 2nd, or June 24th (the Nativity of St John the Baptist). Restraining from eating the fruit was often treated as a sacrifice; in return Mary was to take care of their children.

August 15thThe Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Poland known as Our Lady of Herbs [Matki Bożej Zielnej] or Our Lady of Harvest [Matki Bożej Żniwnej])

Mary is presented as the mother of the earth bearing fruit. Thus, people would bring her wreaths made of herbs, flowers, twigs and ears. They were blessed during the celebration and placed at various places in houses and fields.

September 8thThe Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Poland known as Our Lady of Sowing [Matki Bożej Siewnej])

People brought seeds to bless them during the celebration in order to protect them from hail, flood, drought and other mishaps.

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