KURSK ROOT ICON PROCESSION
Every year on Friday of the ninth week after Pascha, the icon of the Sign is solemnly borne in procession from the Kursk Znamensky Cathedral of "The Sign", to the place of its original manifestation at the Korennaya Hermitage in Soboda Village, where it remains until September 13th. On September 13, it was again solemnly returned to the city of Kursk. This procession was instituted in the year 1618 in memory of the transfer of the icon from Moscow to Kursk and to commemorate its original appearance.
The Kursk Root Icon Procession became well-known thanks to its religious processions and a world famous fair that had occurred here for hundred of years before the Soviet Union stopped it because of its persecution of region. The first new procession in Korennaya Pustyn took place in June 15, 1990. Since then the eparchy organizes processions regularly twice a year. This one day procession attracted thirty thousand pilgrims in 2005.
The procession starts at the Kursk Znamenskiy Monastery andwalks onto the Korennaya (Kursk Root) Hermitage, about 33 kilometers NE from the city of Kursk. The procession takes hours to walk. It is an hour's ride on the local Korennaya bus. The Procession occurs on the ninth Friday after Easecha (Russian Orthodox Easter) (different date each year) and the Kursk Root Procession returns back to Kursk Znamenskiy Monastery after September 12th each year.
What a grace-filled Holy Day that is granted to all who spend the day with the Kursk Root Procession. Prayers are continuously offered to God, like the clouds of incense St. Seraphim saw in a vision, rising up from the land to heaven. With all the Orthodox Christians on the hill and around the Kursk Root Spring Church and along the river, it reminded me of what it must have been like when Jesus was preaching all day and then feeding the five thousand. It was estimated that over 30,000 people attended the Kursk Root Icon Procession in 2005.