Annunciation, Annunciation - dvonadesyate great holiday, the third most important national-religious holiday after Easter and Christmas. Annunciation Orthodox celebrate on April 7, Catholics - 25 March.
The sample information on the Annunciation of the Wikipedia site:
At the heart of the holiday - the message Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary "good news" (hence the Annunciation) on the birth of her divine child, the Savior of the human race.
When Mary was 12, God told that she bear the Son of God. But after Mary zaruchyly 82-year-old Joseph appeared to her archangel Gabriel and said: "Rejoice, grace, the Lord is with thee" (Luke I, 28); "And behold thou shall conceive, and the Son beget, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of His father David. And forever reign over the house of Jacob, and his kingdom will have no end. " Mary said: "How can this be when I have no husband ?...". Archangel answered: "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and power of the Highest overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born, the Son of God (...) For with God nothing shall be impossible!" And Mary said: "I am a servant of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word!" (Luke, I, 31-38).
In Nazareth, the place where the Archangel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary, built a temple to commemorate the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
Celebration of the Annunciation Church in set IV. after themselves began to celebrate Christmas. The date of the Annunciation established counted 9 months from Christmas. In addition, the Church Fathers explain the date of the Annunciation by the fact that God created man in the day on 25 March. Deadlines, which coincides with the Annunciation - Thursday 3 rd week of Lent and Wednesday Passover week (in Julian calendar). According to the significance of this day of celebration of the Annunciation Church is canceled, even if the holiday falls on Easter; fast for him weakened. Depending on the time, the holiday may take 3 days or 1 day.
A few words of Cyril and Methodius Encyclopedia (our translation, the original text contains errors, we appreciate the correction and refinement by experts).
At the time of the feast of the Annunciation is one of the oldest. On his old shows in their teaching on this feast of the Church Fathers III-IV century: Neokesariyskyy Gregory, Athanasius of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine and others who called him the ancient and customary religious holidays. In the VII century. John Damascene and Theophanes, Metropolitan Nicea, passed canons to celebrate the Annunciation.
Deadlines, which may coincide Annunciation - Thursday the third week of Lent and Wednesday Bright. Church celebration of the Annunciation is not canceled even if a holiday falls on Easter (the major holidays such combination is called "Kiriopashoyu") and then combined with the Easter songs singing the Annunciation. If the Annunciation falls on fast, then fast for him weakened, so another 6 Ecumenical Council decided to carry out the day Annunciation Liturgy of John Chrysostom, not sanctified Liturgy Gifts. Annunciation is one day and one day Forefeast Afterfeast.
Name holidays "Annunciation" has established in the Middle Ages in the East and West, the Catholic Church much later after the 2 nd Vatican Council (1962-65) returned to him earlier name - "Annunciation of the Lord" (Russian Catholics, with Given the strangeness of such name for the Russian tradition, the holiday is called simply "Annunciation").