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VARTOLOMEY (St Bartholomew’s Day) - June 11

The feast is called Vartolomey or also Varti-Lomi (in association of storm and hail).

That day the feast of the apostles St.Bartholomew and St.Varnava (Barnabas) is celebrated. Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland. He preached in Arabia and Persia, and especially in India, bringing to them the Gospel written by Saint Matthew.

According to legends, he ended his life by being crucified, or by being flayed alive, in Albanopolis (Urbanopolis) of Armenia. Saint Barnabas, one of the Seventy, was from Cyprus, and a fellow disciple with Paul. Saint Barnabas had a field, which he sold and brought the money to the Apostles. Before the conversion of Saul to Paul, it was Barnabas who was the leader of the Seventy Apostles, the first in preaching and chief spokesman. Saint Barnabas preached the Gospel in many places, traveled together with Paul, and finally was stoned to death by the Jews in his native Cyprus.

People celebrate Vartolomey as the second of the four hail men – the brothers German, Vartolomey, Liseh and Vido. People respect this day so no hail falls during the summer and there are no snow storms in winter. According to the traditional rituals, St. Bartholomew is the lord of the heavenly elements – hails and thunders. Therefore, no one is supposed to work on that day, women should not wash their heads (otherwise they would become scatter-brained and stupid, and would suffer from headache or dizziness). Cattle should not be put into yoke either.