Why was it believed that February 29 brings bad luck?

Russia Beyond (Photo: Public Domain, Getty Images)/Getty Images
Slavs considered February 29 as the day of the patron of death, ‘Koschei the Immortal’. With the advent of Orthodoxy, this date became a holiday of St. John Cassian the Theologian, commonly referred to as ‘Kasyan’. It was generally believed that he brings a lot of misfortune.

Kasyan the Unforgiving, Kasyan the Envious, Kasyan the Crooked, Kasyan the Malmemorable - folk tales endowed him with the most unpleasant characteristics. People believed that Kasyan could set a man on fire just by looking at him, and strike people and livestock with diseases.

Some legends said that Kasyan went over to Satan's side and became a guardian of the Gates of Hell. For this, the Lord allegedly ordered to beat him on the forehead with a hammer for three years in a row and, only on the fourth year, let Kasyan return to Earth. 

Therefore, on Kasyan's day people did not wed and, generally, stayed indoors doing nothing, not letting strangers into the house and placing amulets around the stables. Some were afraid to do household chores before sunrise - this time was considered the most dangerous - and tried to sleep until dinner.

It was believed that those born on February 29 would be haunted by misfortune. One couldn’t share one’s plans on that day - they were bound to get upset.
Do you believe in such omens?

Dear readers,

Our website and social media accounts are under threat of being restricted or banned, due to the current circumstances. So, to keep up with our latest content, simply do the following:

  • Subscribe to our Telegram channel
  • Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter
  • Enable push notifications on our website
  • Install a VPN service on your computer and/or phone to have access to our website, even if it is blocked in your country

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies