The Official Website of the Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia > Orthodoxy in Abkhazia > Liturgical texts > CALENDAR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ABKHAZIA. CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS. ST. BASIL THE GREAT.









1 January (14 January)[1]. Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia († 379 г.[2]). Liturgical year.

Ажьырныҳәамза 1 (Ажьырныҳәамза 14, жәытәла). Ҳ-Аҳ Ду Иаса Қьырса жьыла ихсара́ (иркьаҿ. Қьырса Ижьыхсара́, ма Исуна́ҭра). Ацқьа Уасил Ду, Каппадоки́атәи Кеса́риа аҧскәаба́зхада († 379 ш.). Ажьырныҳәа.


Holiday in the Republic of Abkhazia.

Traditional Feast of the Liturgical year — Ажьырныҳәа (for Abzhyuua Abkhazians) / Хьачхәа́ма (for Bzyb Abkhazians).

On the eve of the New Year (December 31 / January 13)[3], in the evening, residents of Abkhazia make a special prayer at home: they ask God to bless and help them in the coming year. Abkhazian families, whose ancestors in ancient times were engaged in blacksmithing and jewelry production, make a New Year’s prayer in the forges (ажьира / ахьира), which in our time look like chapels than forges.


Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Ац. Уасил Ду Илитургьи́а.

Matins: Gospel of John, 36 verse (10:9–16)[4].

Шьыжьныҳәара: Иуана иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша, 36-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (10:9–16).

Liturgy: Circumcision: Colossians, 254 verse (2:8–12). Gospel of Luke, 6 verse (2:20–21, 40–52). St. Basil the Great: Hebrews, 318 verse (7:26 – 8:2). Gospel of Luke, 24 verse (6:17–23).

Алитургьи́а: Ажьыхсара́ (Асуна́ҭра) иазку: Кәаласса́а рахь, 254-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (2:8–12). Лука́с иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша, 6-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (2:20–21, 40–52). Ац. Уасил Ду изку: Ауриацәа рахь, 318-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (7:26 – 8:2). Лука́с иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша, 24-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (6:17–23).

Dismissal: “On the eighth day, was circumcised, Christ our true God, for our salvation…”

Аушьҭра: «Ҳиқәырхаразы аабатәи амш азы ажьхсара́ здызкылаз Қьырса ҳ-Анцәацәҟьа…».


At Great Vespers, Second Paremia[5].


22The LORD created me (Sophia, Wisdom — f. Dorotheos) His first course, before His works of old. 23From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, before the earth began. 24When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth, when no springs were overflowing with water. 25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26before He made the land or fields, or any of the dust of the earth. 27I was there when He established the heavens, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, 28when He established the clouds above, when the fountains of the deep gushed forth, 29when He set a boundary for the sea, so that the waters would not surpass His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth. 30Then I was a skilled craftsman at His side, and His delight day by day, rejoicing always in His presence. [6].

8: 22–30



Иуана иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша (Аеванге́лион) цқьа аԥхьара:

Иҳәеит ҳ-Аҳ Ду изнеиз рахь: 9Сара — сгәашәуп: Сыла иҭало деиқәхоит, дагьҭалоит, дагьҭыҵуеит, аҳәырҭагьы ибоит. 10Аӷьыч дзаауа, аӷьычреи, ашьреи, ақәхреи мацаразоуп; Сара сзааз [суасақәа] абзазара рымазаарац, инамыцхәынгьы ирымазарац азоуп. 11Сара сыхьча бзиоуп. Ахьча бзиа иуасақәа иԥсы ирыхҭниҵоит; 12Қьы́рала инкылоу — уи дыхьчаҩым, ауасақәагьы иара итәым, ақәыџьма шаауа бангьы иуасақәа ааныжьны дыҩуеит; ақәыџьмагьы ауасақәа мҵанарсуеит, егьеимнарпуеит. 13Қьы́рала инкылоу аусуҩ дыҩуеит, избанзар қьы́рала иихьчо ауасақәа хьаас имаӡам. 14Сара сыхьча бзиоуп, истәқәоу здыруеит, даргьы Сара сырдыруеит: 15Аб сшидыруеиԥш, Саргьы Аб дыздыруеит, ауасақәагьы сыԥсы рыхҭнысҵоит. 16Исымоуп ари суасагәар иатәым егьырҭ ауасақәагьы; урҭгьы сыдсыԥхьалоит, Сыбжьгьы раҳап, иагьыҟалап гәарҭакны, ахьчагьы даӡәны[7].

36-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (10:9–16)


At Matins.

From the Gospel of John reading:

God said to everyone who came to Him: 9I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. When he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf pounces on them and scatters the flock. 13The man runs away because he is a hired servant and is unconcerned for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me. 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd. [8]

36 verse (10:9–16)


Алитургьиаҿы. Ажьыхсара́ (Асуна́ҭра) иазку.

Ацқьа цҳаражәҳәаҩ Па́улос Кәаласса́а ирзишьҭыз ацҳамҭа аԥхьара:

Аишьцәа, 8шәгәышәҽаныз, аӡәы шәхимхразы Қьырса иҟынтә акәымкәа, ауааи аԥсабареи рыҟнытә иаауа иҟам-иным ала; 9избанзар Иара ицәеижь аҿы иҟоуп Анцәа Инцәара зегьы нхаарҭәааны, 10шәаргьы Уи — лагамҭас иҟәоуи мчызмоу зегьи́ Рхада иҿы ишәыҭахоит иха́ҭәаау аԥсҭазаара. 11Иара ила напыла иҟаҵам ажьыхсара́ шәыдышәкыл, Қьырса иитәу ажьыхсара́ла шәцәеижь иалоу а́иакәым шәцәамаҭәеиԥш ишәшәы́ххаразы. 12Ӡӡаахрала [Қьырса] анышә шәи́цамадахеит, аха шәагьи́цбзахеит Анцәа, [Қьырса] аԥсцәа рахьтә дзыргылаз имч агәра ахьыжәгаз азы.

254-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (2:8–12)


At the Liturgy of Circumcision.

From the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians:

Brothers, 8 смотрите, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

254 зачало (2:8–12)


Алитургьиаҿы. Ац. Уасил Ду изку.

Ацқьа цҳаражәҳәаҩ Па́улос Ауриацәа ирзишьҭыз ацҳамҭа аԥхьара:

Аишьцәа, 26иаҳҭахуҵәҟьа Аԥшьаҩы́хада — ицқьоу, цәгьареи ҟьашьреи злам, иакәы́м зуа ирылгоуи ажәҩангьы инахыҳәҳәаны иҟалази Иоуп. 27Уи изы иаҭахӡам, егьырҭ аԥшьаҩы́хадацәа ишыҟарҵо аиԥш, есы́ҽны аӡатәқәа рнагара: аԥхьа дара рхаҭақәа иакәы́мкәа ируз азы, нас ажәлар иакәы́мкәа иҟарҵаз азы. Ари зегьы Иара [Қьырса] зныкала иҟаиҵеит Ихаҭа ӡатәс иҽаныҟаиҵа. 28Аԥҟара ԥшьаҩы́хадацәас иқәнаргылоит ауаа аԥсыҽрақәа шьрымоугьы, аха Аԥҟара ашьҭахь қәра́ла иҳәаз Ажәа Ԥшьаҩы́хадас дықәнаргылеит ахаа́назы инаӡаны иҟалаз Аԥа. 1Иаҳҳәаз аҟынтә ихадоу — абас еиԥш иҟоу Аԥшьаҩы́хада дахьҳамоу ауп, Уи ажәҩан аҿы Иҳаракӡоу [Анцәа] Иҭро́н арыӷьарахьала итәаз, 2амаҵгьы зуа Ицқьаӡоу аҭыԥи ауаҩы иа́кәымкәа ҳ-Аҳ Ду иргылаз иҵабыргу Ашьаԥеи рыҟны.

318-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (7:26 – 8:2)


At the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

From the Epistle to the Hebrews reading:

Brothers, 26Such a high priest truly befits us— One who is holy, innocent, undefiled, set apart from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people; He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. 1The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven 2and who ministers in the sanctuary and TRUE tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

318 verse (7:26 – 8:2)


Алитургьиаҽы. Ажьыхсара́ (Асуна́ҭра) иазку.

Лука́с иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша (Аеванге́лион) цқьа аԥхьара:

Усҟантәи аамҭазы 20ихынҳәит ахьшьцәа, ираҳази излаԥшызи рзы Анцәа хьӡи-ԥшеи иҭо, ибзырӡы ҳәо; зегьы [Амаалықь] ишреиҳәаз еиԥш иҟан. 21Аамшы́ ниасны Асаби ижьыхсара́ аамҭа анааи, Иаса ихьӡырҵоит — [Иан] лцәа далашәаанӡа Амаалықь ишихьӡитәхьаз еиԥш. 40Асаби изҳа-зыӷьон, доуҳала дыӷәӷәахон, ҟәыӷарыла дыҭәуан, Анцәа илыԥхагьы иман. 41Дзыхшаз есышықәса Мшаԥныҳәазы Иерусалимҟа ицон. 42Жәаҩа шықәса анихыҵ, урҭ аныҳәазы ишаԥыз еиԥш, Иерусалим ихалт. 43Аныҳәамшқәа анхыркәшаха, дара хынҳәит, Аҷкәын Иаса Иерусалим дынхеит; Иасы́фи Иани уи рызгәамҭеит. 44Ирыцыз дрылоуп ҳәа ргәы иаанагон; мышныҟәарак инеихьаны ауп, рыуацәеи ирдыруази рыбжьара иазҵаара ианалага. 45Данырымба, и́ԥшааразы Иерусалимҟа ихынҳәит. 46Хымш рышьҭахь аныҳәарҭаҟны дрыԥшааит арҵаҩцәа дрылатәаны данырзыӡырҩуаз, данразҵаауаз аамҭазы. 47Изыӡырҩуаз зегьы ихәыцшьеи иҟаиҵоз аҭакқәеи рзымбатәбаран. 48Данырбагьы иџьаршьеит, Ангьы лԥа лхы наиқәкны: Сыҷкәын, абас заҳзууи? Уабгьы Саргьы агәырҩа ҳагеит ҳашушьҭаз ҳәа иалҳәеит. 49Сзышәыԥшаауаз? – иҳәеит Иаргьы. Ишәзымдырӡоз Саб иҩнаҿы сыҟазарц шахәҭоу? 50Аха дара иреиҳәаз ажәақәа рзеилымкааит. 51[Нас] Дрыцны [Иерусалимнтә] дылбааит, дагьааит Назаре́ҭ, рҳәатәаҿгьы дыҟан. Иангьы арҭ ажәақәа зегьы лгәы иҭаҵәахны илыман. 52Иаса иакәзар, қәралеи ҟәыӷаралеи изҳауан, имаз алԥхагьы гәа́хәара ду рнаҭон Анцәагьы ауаагьы.


6-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (2:20–21, 40–52)


At the Liturgy of Circumcision.

From the Gospel of Luke reading:

T he shepherds 20returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 21After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. 41Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49“Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

6 verse (2:20–21, 40–52)


Алитургьиаҽы. Ац. Уасил Ду изку.

Лука́с иҟынтә Агәырӷьаҿҳәа́ша (Аеванге́лион) цқьа аԥхьара:

Усҟантәи аамҭазы 17[Иаса иҵаҩцәа] дрыцылбааны адәкаршәраҿы днагылт. Абра [егьырҭ] иҵаҩцәа жәпаҩык, иара убас Иуде́а зегьы аҟынтәи, Иерусалимынтәи, Ти́ри Сидо́ни рыгаҿақәа рахьтә иаақәаз ҵҩа змамыз ажәлар 18еизеит Иара изыӡырҩразы, рчымазарақәа ихәышәтәразы, убас аԥсымыцқьақәа зханы игәаҟуазгьы алиргаразы. Иара зегьы ихәышәтәуан. 19Ажәлар зегьы Иахьикьысшаз иашьҭан, избанзар ихылҵуаз амч зегьы рзы ихәышәтәыган. 20Иаргьы иҵаҩцәа ихы нарықәкны ацәажәара дналагеит: Насыԥ шәымоуп ирыцҳахәу, избанзар шәара шәоуп Анцәа Иаҳра зтәу. 21Насыԥ шәымоуп иахьа имлашьуа, избанзар [Анцәа ила] шәгы ҭәраны шәыҟоуп. Насыԥ шәымоуп иахьа иҵәыуо, избанзар шәгәырӷьараны шәыҟоуп. 22Насыԥ шәымоуп Ауаҩытәыҩса Иԥа имшала ауаа цәымӷс шәаныркуа, шәанрылырцо, шәцәа анышәхырхуа, шәыхьӡ цәгьаны ианрыладырҵәо. 23Шәгәырӷьала убри аҽны, шәагьыкәашала, избанзар ажәҩан аҟны аҳамҭа ду шәзыԥшуп. Абас акәын абарҭ ауаа рабацәагьы аԥааимбарцәа (аԥеиԥшҳәаҩцәа) ишрызныҟәоз.

24-тәи ацыԥҵәа́ха (6:17–23)

At the Liturgy of Circumcision.

From the Gospel of Luke reading:

T hen 17Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of His disciples was there, along with a great number of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon 18They had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases, and those troubled by unclean spirits were healed. 19The entire crowd was trying to touch Him, because power was coming from Him and healing them all. 20Looking up at His disciples, Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 2222Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For their fathers treated the prophets in the same way.

24 verse (6:17–23)


Ацқьа Уасил Ду иҭраԥа́р (аушьҭыгатә), 1-тәи абжьы


Адгьыл зегьы иахыҵәеит убжьы, /

уажәа аднакылеит азы: /

уи ала адо́гмақәа нцәақәнагала ишьақәурӷәӷәеит, /

иҟоу зегьы рыԥсабара деилуркааит, /

ауаа рҵасқәагьы урԥшӡеит. /

Иаҳратәу [Уасил] аԥшьаҩы, / иԥшьоу ҳаб, /

Қьырса Анцәа уҳазиҳәа /

ирыцҳашьара ду ҳанаишьартә.


Troparion of St. Basil the Great, Tone 1[9]


Your proclamation has gone out into all the earth /

which was divinely taught by hearing your voice /

expounding the nature of creatures, /

ennobling the manners of men. /

O holy father of a royal priesthood, — /

entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved. /


Ацқьа Уасил Ду иқада́қь, 4-тәи абжьы


Аныха / рқәаца́шьа змам уасхырс уазцәырҵит, /

ауаа зегьы набыцра зқәым амазара рызшо, /

уи [амазара] удо́гмақәа рыла амҳәыр аархо, /

ижәҩантәу аазыртуа / Уасил ԥшьа.


Kontakion of St. Basil the Great, Tone 4


You were revealed as the sure foundation of the Church,/

granting all mankind a lordship which cannot be taken away, /

sealing it with your precepts, /

O venerable and heavenly Father Basil.


St. Basil the Great


St. Basil the Great was a Byzantine bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was born in 329/330. His ancestors came from the Asia Minor provinces of the Roman Empire. Parents belonged to the Greek landed aristocracy. His father’s name was also Basil and shortly before his death, he took ordination to the priesthood. His mother Emilia was canonized as a saint of the Church. In the family, in addition to St. Basil, there were three more sons and five daughters. Elder sister of St. Basil Macrina, who chose an ascetic life, was also canonized as a saint of the Church. One of the brothers, whose name was Gregory (later Bishop of Nyssa), was a well-known theologian and holy hierarch of the Church. Another of the sisters named Theozva, who was a deaconess, was also canonized as a saint of the Church. Memory Day of St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa († after 394), and holy deaconess Theosda († 385) is 10 January (23 January, Julian calendar). After the birth, St. Basil the Great was given to the nurse. His foster brother was Dorotheos, who later became a presbyter (priest).

In 346 St. Basil the Great moved to Caesarea in Cappadocia for study and he met there another future holy father St. Gregory the Theologian. In 348-349 St. Basil the Great continued his education in Constantinople, and in 350 he started to study in the famous Athens Academy. At the same time, St. Gregory the Theologian studied in Athens. In 356 St. Basil left Athens.

After returning home, St. Basil the Great taught rhetoric in Caesarea and worked as a lawyer in court. At the same time, he, already an adult (27 years old), was baptized. Then he travelled to Syria and Egypt, spent some time in the famous Alexandria. After returning home from the trip, he served as a monk for some time. Then St. Basil the Great went through all the levels of the church hierarchy: first he was ordained as a reader, in 362 he was ordained as a presbyter (priest), and in 370 he was elected as a bishop of Caesarea.

The years when he ruled the Pontic Church with a metropolis in Caesarea were difficult. Because at that time the All Catholic and Apostolic Church was going through a crisis associated with Arianism and other heresies. In 373, on behalf of the Roman emperor Valens, he went to the province of Lesser Armenia to handle church affairs there and appoint bishops.

St. Basil the Great paid much attention to caring for the sick, travelers, and the poor, providing them with work.
With his own funds and donations from various people, he founded and maintained a charitable institution, called “Basiliada”. It included a hospital and a poorhouse.

St. Basil the Great died on 1 January, 370 in the city of Caesarea in Cappadocia.

St. Basil the Great left us a great heritage: dogmatic, exegetical and ascetic writings, conversations, letters and liturgical texts. Among them, we should highlight the famous “Conversations on the Six Days”, the conversation “for the young men, how to use pagan writings”, some letters which contain the dogmatic teaching of this great father of the Church and the Liturgy, named after St. Basil the Great. Regarding the liturgy, it was established by the researchers that the form of modern Liturgy was founded only by the 14th century. However, its main part Anaphora (Ascension) was written by St. Basil the Great. And this most important part of the Liturgy was adopted at the beginning of the 5th century in the Church of Constantinople. Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, according to the Typicon of the Jerusalem Church, is served ten times a year: on 1 January (on the memory day of St. Basil the Great), at Vespers on the Nativity of Christ, Epiphany and Easter, on the first five Sundays of Great Lent and on Holy Thursday. In addition to the Liturgy, according to the church tradition St. Basil the Great is the author of the Great Blessing of Water, which takes place on Epiphany (January 6/19).

It should be noted that the first church institution on the territory of Abkhazia – the Pitsunda Episcopacy from the beginning of the 4th century until the middle of the 5th century (a century and a half) was part of the very Church, which was headed by St. Basil the Great. We are talking about the Pontic Church with the center (metropolis) in Caesarea. It was located on the opposite coast of the Black Sea from Abkhazia. In 451, by decision of the IV Ecumenical Council, the Pontic Church was included in the Church of Constantinople.


St. Basil the Great and the New Year Holiday


According to the Greek tradition during the Christmas and New Year holidays, the role of Santa Claus (St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra) is performed by St. Basil the Great (Agios Vasilios or Ai Vasilis). On New Year’s Eve, every family bakes a pie called “Vasilopita” (St. Basil’s pie). The pie must be baked with a coin. It is believed that whoever gets it, will be lucky in the coming year. The first piece of the pie is dedicated to Christ, the second one to the Mother of God, the third one to St. Basil the Great, the fourth one to the house, and then it is divided for all. Cutting “Vasilopita” is performed in all Greek churches and monasteries. On the Christmas and New Year holidays, which last twelve days, Greek children sing special carols called “kalanda”.

According to a Russian source of XVII century “The list of Fedot Yelchin”, in May 1639 (or in 7147 from the creation of the world) by decree of the Tsar and Grand Duke of All Russia Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov (1596–1645) Fedot Yalchin, pop ( Priest) Pavel and clerk Fedka Bazhenov were sent to public service in the “Didyan land” (Mingrelian principality).
On 13 November 1639, the above-mentioned Russian ambassadors arrived in Megrelia.

When the Russian ambassadors were in the village of Zhakhar (the area of modern Tsalenjikha, on the right bank of the Ingur River), the New Year came. According to the above source, the New Year began from Basil’s Day.

In other words, according to Fedot Yelchin, in the first half of the 17th century, January 1st was already the first day of the New Year in Megrelia. On this day, the Church, as we said above, commemorates St. Basil the Great.

For the Russian ambassadors, it was a surprise, because the celebration of the New Year on January 1 in Russia would be introduced only in 1699, when Peter I signed the Decree on change the celebration of the beginning of the year from September 1 to January 1 in Russia.

We are sure that in Abkhazia, as well as in neighboring Megrelia, already in the first half of the 17th century, New Year was celebrated on January 1 (January 14).

According to ethnographic materials of the 19th century, a number of traditional New Year’s prayers and rituals were performed among the Abkhazians on this day, such as “Kalanda”, “Гәныҳәа” and others, as well as a special prayer of blacksmiths and jewelry producers.

Below we describe two of them. They were first recorded by Solomon Zvanba in 1855.




“This rite is also performed in the Abzhivsky district (Abzhyua district, Eastern Abkhazia – Father Dorotheos). It is as follows: on the eve of the New Year, after dinner, in every family people prepare a large quadrangular pie stuffed with cheese and bake it. When the first roosters begin to sing, the cake is placed on a large board, sticking a lit wax candle to it; all members of the family kneel in front of the board, and the eldest man in the family, throwing incense on the coals, asks Kalanda (God – F. Dorotheos) to bless his family. After that, they eat the pie, and burn the leftovers” (newspaper “Kavkaz”, 1855, No. 81-82).

It should be noted that in the first Russian-Abkhazian dictionary compiled by V.P. Romanov in 1827, the name of the New Year in the Abkhaz language was recorded as “Akalanda” (The first dictionary of the Abkhaz language by V.P. Romanov (1827). Abaza Dictionary, 2nd edition, Tbilisi, 2014, p. 35).


New Year’s prayer of Abkhaz blacksmiths and jewelers


«Шьашәы абжьныха (seven shrines)[10]. The Abkhazians imagine it in seven faces and call seven shrines [11]. Sacrifice to this God (Sophia – the Wisdom of God. — F. Dorotheos) is made annually by blacksmiths and locksmith (jewelers — F. Dorotheos)[12].

On the eve of the New Year (that is, December 31; this day before the calendar reform of the Soviet government in 1918 was January 13 — f. Dorotheos) in the evening, the blacksmith slaughters horned cattle and his wife slaughters one rooster for each member of the family and prepares a large wheat flour pie stuffed with fresh cheese. Meat is boiled, roosters are roasted on skewers and a pie is baked. When everythig is ready, the blacksmith puts all his tools in the forge near the anvil;the food is brought there and the whole family gathers. After the arrival of the family to the forge, all it’s members get down on their knees and the blacksmith, taking off his hat, lights a candle, throws incense on the hot coals, which were brought to the forge, and asks his patron (Шьашәы абжьныха – Sophia, the Wisdom of God; in our time they ask only God. – F. Dorotheos) to give him and his family health and longevity. After this prayer, he cuts off pieces from the liver, heart of slaughtered cattle, roosters, pieces of cake and burns them on coals; then he cuts off other pieces from the same parts and gives them to each member of the family. Everyone eats the part he got and takes three sips of wine. After the rite is completed, the food is taken out of the forge into the house. The owner invites neighbors and feasts with them all night in the name of Шьашәы (Sophia – the Wisdom of God – F. Dorotheos)”( newspaper “Kavkaz”, 1855, No. 81–82).



Archimandrite Dorotheos (Dbar),

New Athos, 13 January, 2022. 


[1] Вначале приведены даты, указанные в самих церковно-богослужебных книгах, которые соответствуют новоюлианскому календарю и совпадают с датами григорианского (европейского) календаря. В скобках указаны даты, которые соответствуют юлианскому календарю. Разница между новоюлианским (григорианским) и юлианским календарями составляла 13 дней. Например, Рождество Христово празднуется 25 декабря, а Новый год — 1 января. Эти дни до календарной реформы, осуществленной Советской властью в 1918 г., приходились на дни, соответствующие современным 7 и 14 января. Отсюда дата празднования Рождества — 25 декабря по новому стилю / 7 января по старому стилю, а дата празднования Нового года — 1 января по новому стилю / 14 января по старому стилю.

[2] Крест с цифрой здесь и далее обозначает дату кончины святого, цифра без креста — время свершения вспоминаемого церковного события.

[3] Жители ряда сел Западной Абхазии Новый год (Хьачхәама) отмечают исключительно в понедельник или в четверг вне зависимости от того, попадает ли на эти дни недели первый день нового года. Ввиду географической близости этих сел, такой способ празднования следует воспринимать как локальную традицию, генезис которой в настоящее время установить затруднительно.

[4] Зачало (ацыԥҵәа́ха) — часть текста Евангелия или Апостола, предназначенное для богослужебного чтения в тот или иной день церковного календаря. В скобках указаны соответствующие каждому зачалу главы и стихи из Нового Завета.

[5] Паремия — отрывок из Священного Писания Ветхого Завета.

[6] Приводимые здесь и далее паремии взяты Библии в переводе на современный русский язык, сделанный Российским Библейским обществом (

[7] Здесь и далее приведены отрывки из Священного Писания Нового Завета в переводе с древнегреческого на абхазский язык, которые должны читаться за богослужением. При переводе, помимо оригинального текста, были использованы следующие переводы текстов Нового Завета на абхазский язык: 1) Богослужебное Евангелие на абхазском языке. Тифлис, 1912; 2) Евангелие от Иоанна на абхазском языке. Институт перевода Библии (Стокгольм), 1981; 3) Новый Зовет в переводе М. Ласурия. Москва – Сухум, 2015; 4) Евангелие от Матфея и Марка в переводе Заиры Хибба // Аҟәа, 3 (2019), ад. 77–158. Также был использован перевод Нового Завета на новогреческий язык, сделанный Греческим Библейским обществом (Η Καινή Διαθήκη. Το πρωτότυπο κείμενο με μετάφραση στη δημοτική. Αθήνα: Ελληνική Βιβλική Εταιρία, 2003).

[8] Здесь и далее приведены отрывки из Священного Писания Нового Завета в переводе на современный русский язык. Перевод был сделан Российским Библейским обществом ( При чтении приводимых здесь и далее фрагментов книг Нового Завета, нужно учитывать, что они не всегда совпадают с абхазским переводом.

[9] Тропари и кондаки, а также другие богослужебные тексты на русском зыке, приводимые здесь и далее, были переведены с древнегреческого языка епископом Амвросием (Тимротом) (

[10] Шьашәы — Софи́я, Премудрость Божия, т. е. Христос, через которую Бог сотворил небо и землю. Передача несвойственных абхазскому языку сочетаний звуков «фи», «фу», «су», «со» происходит путем их адаптации в систему фонологии абхазского языка следующим образом: ◌ → ҫә [ɕ/ɕʷ] → шә [ʃʷ]. Глухой альвеолярный сибилянт s в зависимости от потребностей передачи отсутствующих в абхазском языке последующих за ним гласных звуков адаптируется в систему фонологии абхазского как глухой альвеоло-палатальный сибилянт следующим образом: so → ɕa. Например: шьашәы — σοφία — мастерство, мудрость (греч.); ашәҭ — φυτóν — растение (греч.); амиҭә — მითი — μῦθος — речь, предание (греч.); Сулеиман — Шәлыман; сундук — а-шәындыҟәра; (arma da) fuoco → фоч (адыг.)  → а-ашәақь → ружье (итал.); асы (аланы) → ашәуаа. Как отмечают лингвисты абхазское слово «ашәуаа» (северкавказцы; абазины) находится в прямой зависимости от известного исторического этнонима осетин «ас». Последние, как известно, в древности проживали в районах, граничащих с Абхазией. Позднее этнонимом «ашәуаа» абхазы стали называть новых переселенцев на былые аланские земли — абазин (Джонуа Б. Заимствованная лексика абхазского языка. Сухум, 2002. — С. 57–58). Престольный праздник знаменитого храма Святой Софии в Константинополе приходился на 23 декабря, т. е. на канун Рождества Христова.

[11] Абжьныха. На некоторых образцах иконы «Софи́и — Премудрости Божией» в центре изображается Вседержитель в виде крылатого Огненного Ангела, который восседает на золотом престоле, поддерживаемом семью столбами. На других иконах изображен дом или храм и в нем стоящая Богоматерь, под сенью, поддерживаемой семью столпами. На груди Богоматери покоится Предвечный Младенец (Христос). В верхней части по сторонам изображены семь архангелов. По сторонам фигуры Богоматери с Младенцем изображены семь святых (праотцы и пророки).

[12] Отсюда соответствующие названия кузницы у абхазов — ажьира / ахьира.