What is a red corner?

What is a red corner?
What is a red corner?

A lot of people have probably heard about the “red corner” in a traditional Russian family, but not everyone knows where this corner should be located. The "red corner" in the hut is otherwise called "big", "holy", "God's" and so on. It turns out that its location depends on the location of the stove - the source of heat in the hut.

red corner

Location of the “red corner”

A special place, which is intended for the “red corner”, in a traditional Russian hut was located diagonally from the wood-burning stove. It could be located both at the front door and in the far corner. However, it had to be located in the southeastern part of the hut. So what is the connection between the stove and the place called in Orthodoxy “the red corner”?

The device of a traditional Russian hut

In ancient times, for Russians, the hut personified the entire Universe, there were heaven and earth (floor and ceiling), cardinal points (walls) and the "lower world" (cellar). Moreover, ancient people associated the east and south with the sunrise, spring, noon, summer, life and warmth, and the north and west with sunset,winter and autumn, cold and death. Based on this, our ancestors sought to equip their home in such a way that it was impossible to enter the forces of evil that came from the north and west.

But the forces of good and heat should not have seen any obstacles in their path and be able to freely enter the hut. And since windows had not yet been invented in those distant times, the only opening leading into the house was the door. The doors of all Slavic huts, without exception, were turned to the south, but the stove was placed opposite the door, that is, in the north, a place from where evil and cold could sneak into the house. Over time, the place of the door in the Russian hut changed, that is, the choice of the wall for the door became unprincipled, but the stove always remained on the north side, and the “red corner” was located diagonally from the stove, in the southeastern part of the hut. This arrangement remains unchanged to this day.

red corner in the house

The meaning of the stove and the “red corner” for ancient Russians

The stove is warm, which means it symbolizes the sun and is the center of the holiness of this house. The “Red Corner” in the Russian hut is also a no less holy place. And although today many people think that such a corner in the house is associated with the Christian religion, nevertheless, some sources say that long before the adoption of Christianity by Russians, it was already customary to create a “red corner” in houses. However, according to other sources, in the old Russian hut the only shrine was the stove. And only later, after the adoption of Christianity, such corners began to appear in houses.

red corner in the apartment

Why is the corner “red”?

In Russian, the word "red" has several meanings. The first is a certain color, and the second is a synonym for the word "beautiful", therefore, the "red corner" can also be called a beautiful corner. It is always arranged in the most prominent place, and any guest at the entrance to the hut from the very first minute should see and understand where the "red corner" is located in the house. And since icons are located in this place, the person entering should immediately notice them and be baptized, and only after that greet the owners of the house.

Attitude towards the “red corner”

After the adoption of Christianity in Russian families, it was customary to keep icons. Some people still believe in the miraculous power of icons. From here it becomes clear such a careful attitude to this place in the house. The “Red Corner” in the house is always kept very clean. All icons located in this zone are decorated with carvings and flowers. There is also a lamp with a candle. On holidays, the most honored guest is seated closer to the red corner.

Religious meaning of the “red corner”

To communicate with God, a Russian person does not have to go to church. In a Russian hut, the “red corner” is the place for prayer and turning to the Lord. Therefore, in this place there are objects that are sacred to every Orthodox Christian. These are icons, holy images, sacred books: the bible, prayer books and others.

red corner in the hut

“Red corner” in the apartment

Todaymany of us do not live in private houses, but in apartments, and those who wish to create a "red corner" in their modern home must also adhere to some rules. Of course, there are no stoves in the apartments to navigate them. Therefore, the sacred corner in the apartment should be opposite the front door, so that the first thing that comes in is to see holy images in the apartment. Sometimes the modern layout of an apartment does not include corners for placing icons, so the "red corner" in the house is not always a corner in the direct sense.

How to arrange a "red corner" in the apartment?

red corner in a Russian hut

A sanctuary in an apartment can be created by placing a high table or a special locker against the wall, covering it with a beautiful tablecloth or some other elegant material. Put holy images on it. As for the place of the “red corner”, it should be located opposite the front door. Choosing a place for it, you can also focus on the east. To do this, you need to determine where the sun rises in the morning, and place a “red corner” in this part. According to the old Russian, or rather Orthodox, custom, believers are supposed to pray looking to the east. It is this part of the world that symbolizes goodness, rebirth, faith and hope. As for the height of such an angle, it should in no way be located below the line of the eyes. Holy images cannot be looked down upon. But to place it above eye level is quite appropriate. Ideally, a table or cabinet should have a top and bottom shelf. Holy images are placed on the top,candlesticks with candles, a censer, and on the bottom - holy books: the Bible, the Gospel, prayer books, church calendars and more.

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