Saint Barnabas Day

On June 24 every year, the Orthodox Church honors the memory of St. Barnabas of Vetluz, who hails from Veliky Ustyug.

The saint lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. At first he was a priest in the temple, and later he became a monk, settling near the river Vetluga (which is why he is called Vetluzsky). Barnabas lived a secluded life for about 30 years and died as an old man.

In the people on Saint Barnabas Day it was forbidden to pluck grass (allegedly the devils poisoned it), to eat fruits plucked on that day, to work half-heartedly, to quarrel, to be jealous, to give and to borrow, to eat harmful food and to drink alcoholic beverages.


To day of Barnabas our ancestors made special amulets against evil spirits from dried herbs. Women divined their husband’s fidelity. The saint was also called Strawberry, because they believed that for a good harvest, strawberries should reach precisely by June 24.

There are several omens for the holiday: warm weather portends a good nut harvest; hot at dawn – it will rain; foggy – we are waiting for a successful mushroom harvest; the fog over the water promises a sunny day; active flowering of acacia to a beautiful harvest; a strong smell of grass or unopened rosehip buds indicate the approach of heavy rains.

Saint Barnabas Day
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