Sant Ilie, as the folk calendar calls it, was a solar god, now celebrated on July 20, as St. Ilie’s Day in the Orthodox calendar. Sant Ilie is a deity of the sun and fire, identified with Helios from the Greek mythology, and with Gebeleizis from the Geto-Dacian mythology.
As a solar deity, Sant-Ilie causes thunder, lightning, torrential rain and fire, and decides where and when the hail to fall. The tradition says that if in this day there will be thunders, the apples and peanuts will be wormy, and if it will rain, the rain will not stop for 20 days. Also, in this day, St. Ilie kills the demons with lightning and fire. That is why, when it rains, the tradition says that is better to keep the doors and windows closed, so that, no demon that is trying to escape from Sf. Ilie enters your house.
More than 110,000 Romanians named Ilie are celebrating their name day today, according to the statistics published by the Ministry of Administration and Interior.
Irina Popescu, [email protected]
(photo source: Sxc.hu)