March 13th is SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)

March 13th is SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)

3/13/2005 7:09:02 AM

Seven weeks before Easter and one week after the Meat Fasting is celebrated Shrove Sunday, also known as Cheese Fasting ? a holiday, which marks the beginning of the longest period of fasting during the whole year.

The festive dinner has the character of a ritual. The whole family ? parents, sons, daughters and grandchildren gather in the evening of the holiday to feast with milk containing meals. The excitement during the dinner increases when the time for the Hamkane custom comes. The cheese fasting day is time for forgiveness ? the young ask the old for forgiveness, children apologize to their parents, they kiss the hand of the elderly saying: ?Forgive me, mother, father??.  ?You are forgiven, God will forgive you? is the obligatory response that follows.

The most characteristic and essential rite on this day is the lighting of the ceremonial fires. The traditional folk dances played on Cheese fasting are the last for the winter festive cycle. No folk dances are performed during the Lent with the exception of the Buenetsa dance.

Ritual table: cheese pastry, rite bread, cheese pumpkin, eggs, white halvah with nuts, fish.

For information on the Koukeri Ritual performed on Shrove Sunday - click here