In the Gospel of Luke tells how the angel Gabriel was sent God proclaim Mary, a virgin espoused to Joseph, she is to conceive of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the baby Jesus, the Messiah, and that will be called the Son of God. Confused Angel Maria greeting then was assured of the truth of his promises, and expressed his belief the words: "May it be to me according to your word."
Since at least since the 2nd century Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Annunciation of the Virgin Mary) was seen as the first in the history of the Christian act of atonement in which the obedience of Mary balances the disobedience of Eve (interpretation Irenaeus). Happy celebration of the Annunciation was established 25 March, nine months before Christmas.
Since the 4th century, there is another explanation for this date: Redemption really was to begin with the conception of Christ in the day of the vernal equinox, which is traditionally considered the day of creation, and in the month of death and resurrection of Christ (Easter). In the Middle Ages, counting down the days in the year are often conducted on the day of the Annunciation (in England this custom lasted until 1752).
The first images of the scene of the Annunciation belong to the 5th century, and later the Annunciation is a favorite subject in Christian art and a constant theme of Byzantine icons, medieval sculptures and Renaissance paintings.
Annunciation falls either on the days of Lent, or the week of Easter celebrations (Bright Week). Depending on this holiday every time has a special liturgy. The Church of the Annunciation of the celebration will not be canceled, even if the holiday falls on Easter time (this great feast called "Kiriopaskhoy"), and then connected with Easter hymns hymns of the Annunciation. If the Annunciation falls on a post, the post for him weakened.
name of the holiday, "Annunciation", set in the Middle Ages, both in the East and in the West, there was a relatively late. Catholic Church after the 2nd Vatican Council restored his earlier name — The Annunciation of the Lord (Russian Catholics, because of unfamiliarity similar name to Russian tradition, a holiday called "Annunciation").