07 April 2011, Thursday, 10:22
author: Eugene Rakhimkulov
Orthodox Christians celebrate the Lady Day today and the name of this feast reflects its essence – in the Lady Day the Virgin has received the news about conception and birth of the baby Jesus Christ. According to the Bible the Archangel Gabriel brought her this message exactly when the Virgin was reading the book by the Prophet Isaiah about the forthcoming birth of the Messiah.
There is no exact data when Christians started to celebrate the Lady Day. It is only known that in the year 560 the feast’s date was officially legalized by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian – on April 7 (March 25 according to the old calendar). But people celebrated the Lady Day long before this date and the feast existed under different names: Christ’s conception, Christ’s Annunciation, the Beginning of Atonement and Annunciation of the Angel Maria.
The Lady Day is celebrated every year on one and the same April day.
The Lady Day was many times embodied in the Christian iconography and it was always accustomed to consider the work by Andre Rublev, made in 1405, the main feast’s icon.