Velikoretsky crucession

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Velikoretsky crucession (Russian: Великорецкий крестный ход) is procession, which takes place every year in Vyatka diocese from the city of Kirov to Velikoretskoye settlement and back.

In 1383 on the bank of the Velikaya river a peasant named Semyon Agalakov discovered an icon of Saint Nicholas. When numerous people were cured from illnesses by praying to the sacred image, the glory of the wonder-making icon spread all over the Vyatka land and beyond its borders. Even before the time when the icon was first taken to Moscow - on the order of Ivan the Terrible in 1555 - the wonder-making image of Saint Nikolai was well-known and honored in Russia.

Due to the glory of the wonder-making icon in the XV century a settlement Velikoretskoye was founded. The architectural ensemble of the settlement is a unique sightseeing attraction of the Vyatka land.

The town-dwellers of Khlynov (old name of Kirov) - the capital city of the Vyatka country - took the sacred image of St. Nicholas to the town church having made a promise to bring the icon back to the banks of the Velikaya every year. Since those times for more than 600 years from June 3 to June 8 the crucession (the religious procession) to Velikoretskoye settlement has taken place in Vyatka. Nowadays on the day of celebrating the anniiversary of the icon thousands of pilgrims not only from Russia but also from abroad gather in Velikoretskoye to pray to the wonder-making image at the holy place where the icon first apppeared, to drink water from the holy spring, to bathe in the waters of the Velikaya river.