Spring traditions in Bulgaria
By Correspondent Vidka in Karlovo, Bulgaria.
Spring traditions in Bulgaria are very colorful, full of life, hope and light.
In the old times our spring customs and rituals were believed to ensure good weather for the crops and good harvest after, worship towards our forefathers, as well as the expectations of the young people for a happy life. Nowadays we continue the old traditions as they are part of our history and they remind us who we are and where did we come from.
We have plenty of spring traditions and holidays, which start from early February, but since we are in the eve of Easter I shall write about our spring traditions just a week before Easter holiday.
The Saturday of the week before Easter is the day in which in Bulgaria is celebrated the day of St.Lazar, we call it in Bulgarian – Lazarovden. It’s dedicated to fertility and love, and to the nature that arises for a new life. On the morning of this day all young and unmarried women, called in Bulgarian language “Lazarki “, pick up flowers and prank themselves with green willow twigs, which later are to be used for making of garlands. The garlands are hanged over the doors of the houses on the following day, which is another special holiday. Then, dressed in Bulgarian national costumes, they go in groups around the houses singing songs and spreading love, health and happiness. The homeowners are giving the girls eggs, fruits, small gifts or money. On this day all people who have the name of Lazar are having a name day and celebrate with friends and family.
In the past it was believed that an unmarried woman, who does not take part in this custom, cannot marry after. This is why it was obligatory for all the girls to participate. And all the young and unmarried men took the advantage on this day to show their feelings to the women they are in love with, and even to propose. In our days this belief does no longer exist, but I suppose that there are plenty of young people who show their love to each other on this day, and not only
The day, following St.Lazar’s day, is another special holiday in my country. It is the day of the flowers, light and youth, the birth of nature’s new life – we call it in our language “Tzvetnitza”- it comes from the word “tzvete”, which in Bulgarian language means flower. On this day all people go to church bringing flowers, praying and lighting candles. From the church they take back home green willow wigs, blessed by the priests, and put the wigs in front of the home icon. It is believed that these willow wigs prevent the home from evil eye and sickness. The wigs are kept until next year’s Tzvetniza, when they are thrown in rivers, brooks or running waters.
And since Tzvetniza is the day of the flowers, all people who have the name of flowers in Bulgaria are celebrating their name day and letting love, new life, light and hope in their homes and in the homes of their friends and loved ones.
My name is Vidka and I am Bulgarian. I have graduated English language and Bulgarian language in University.
From half an year now, I am trying the job of a freelancer. I like traveling and exploring new languages and cultures.