Holy Cross Day
Holy Cross Day is also known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Triumph of the Cross, or Holyrood Day ("rood" meaning "cross". It commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified. (It had been taken from Jerusalem by the Persians in a war in A.D. 614. In A.D. 629, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered and returned the Cross to Jerusalem.)
Holy Cross Day is one of four annual markers for the "Ember Days," which occur on the first Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Holy Cross Day, Whit Sunday (Pentecost), the first Sunday in Lent, and St. Lucy Day. The Ember Days are special times for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy in the Catholic and Anglican churches. The weather on each of the three Ember Days is supposed to foretell the weather for each of the three succeeding months. A Spanish proverb notes, "On Holy Cross Day / Vineyards are gay."