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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 22 -Savior of the Apple Feast Day.
In this lesson, we will discuss the Orthodox holiday called the Transfiguration of Jesus, or in Russian, Преображение Господне (Preabrazheniye Gaspodne). Colloquially, this holiday is known as Savior of the Apple Day, or Яблочный Спас (Yablachnyy Spas) in Russian. This holiday commemorates the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and symbolizes the beginning of fall, the changing of the seasons, and the need for personal growth. It's observed every year on August 19.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-
What is the name of the mountain where the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ took place?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening.
According to legend, near the end of His earthly life, Jesus Christ took three of his Apostles – Peter, James, and John – and brought them to a mountain. The Apostles fell asleep after arriving, and upon waking, they discovered that the face of Jesus had suddenly changed – it began shining like the sun, and His clothing became sparkling white. Next to Jesus, there stood two men – Moses, which in Russian is pronounced Моисей (Maisey), and Elijah, pronounced Илья (Il'ya). They conversed about the impending suffering of Jesus, and in this way, Jesus strengthened His disciples’ faith and prepared them for the upcoming trials.
As I said earlier, the Transfiguration of Jesus’s holiday is also known as Apple Savior Day. This is because in old Russia, this day was for celebrating the apple harvest. According to long-standing tradition, apples cannot be eaten before Apple Savior Day.
On August 19, divine liturgies are delivered to cathedrals and churches. People bring the new fruit crop to church and have their food blessed. On Apple Savior Day, people customarily prepare various apple-based dishes, such as apple pies, preserves, pastries, and turnovers. Apple pie in Russian is яблочный пирог. After the church blessing, people traditionally give apples to their relatives and friends, to beggars, and to the other people in the church.
The importance of this holiday in old Russia is evident by the fact that the first ship of the line of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was called the “Transfiguration of Jesus.” This is a famous ship that took part in many battles during the 18th century and is now a part of Russian military history.
Returning to our quiz, do you know the name of the mountain where the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ took place?
It was traditionally believed that the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ took place on the Holy Mount Tabor located in Lower Galilee, Israel. However, many scholars now have the opinion that the Transfiguration took place on Mount Hermon.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Is there a holiday related to fruits or vegetables in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!