Today, November 30, is Saint Andrews Day in Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other major Orthodox regions. It is an Eastern Orthodox tradition based on Andrew the Apostle from the early 1st century AD. He was first a disciple of John the Baptist. Soon thereafter, Andrew recognized Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Andrew along with his brother Peter, both became disciples of Jesus Christ.
Saint Andrew traveled along the black sea located in present day Romania, and the river Dnieper located near Kiev Ukraine. He travelled as far up to Novgorod which is located in present day Communist Russia. He was the first to bring the Church of Byzantium to these regions which is the modern day Eastern Orthodox Religion.
Similar to Jesus Christ, Saint Andrew was bound to a wooden cross, not nailed, and left to die in the City of Patras. He was accused of being martyr in Peloponnese, in present day Greece.
On this day we celebrate those who have been given the names, Andreea, Andrea, Andrei, Andrew, Andre, Andy, Andie, Andrejs, Andrzej, Andreas, Andrey, and Drew. Whether it is a first name or middle name you will be celebrated. The tradition is similar to a birthday celebration. The local priest will say a blessing for Saint Andrew and the specific people named after him. We wish these specific people Happy Birthday or in Romanian “La Multi Ani”. Most often there is a large feast on the day of a Saint, to celebrate the Saint and children named after them. It is a highly celebrated holiday and I feel blessed to celebrate it here in Romania for the first time in my life.
This morning I attended a Romanian Orthodox Church service. Out of respect I cannot show the videos and photos from today’s service because it is a privacy restriction.
Research Credits go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_the_Apostle