Current News

Current News

SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)

SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)

3/6/2011 8:54:38 AM

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

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.

The Koukeri ritual at Shrove Sunday.


***************


Shrove Sunday (also known as the First Sunday before the Lent) - is the day for forgiveness. According to Bulgarian traditions, family members are giving each other their forgiveness during a family dinner later that day.  People use set phrases, such as “Forgive me, mother, ..father, ..” and “Let all be forgiven to you,.. God forgives”  to ask and give their pardoning to their close ones.  The popular ritual of “hamkane” is performed that night – a peeled boiled egg, a piece of halva or a coal is tied to a piece of thread hanging from a long pole. Then the thread is moved around in large circles and everyone around the feast table (especially the younger kids) is trying to catch it with mouth only (no use of hands is allowed)…

The most typical tradition connected to that day is starting the feast fires. Right from the very dawn, a Koukeri band starts its walk around everybody’s home.  By means of various symbolic and ritual-magic actions, they are wishing health, land fertility and prosperity to the hosts.

 At Shrove Sunday, the spirit gets purged by the forgiveness given and asked for, the body gets stronger if the person manages to jump over the fire, and the nature sends away evil forces by the ringing of the Koukeri bells. The dance of those masked men brings blessing and land fertility. A Kouker young woman (also called “bride”) starts ploughing the field and calls fertility, health and good luck to come into people’s houses.
 

 Theater festival "Scene at Crossroads" opens today
The 22th international theater festival "Scene at Crossroads" opens today
Anniversary in our history: in 924 AD the BG Tsar Simeon I the Great and the Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos agreed on a temporary peace
In 924 AD the BG Tsar Simeon I the Great and the Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos agreed on a temporary peace ouside the walls of Constantinople.
BIRTH OF THE HOLY MOTHER (also known as “Nativity of the Theotokos”)
According to the traditional celebration of the birth of the Holy Mother, on the eve of the holiday the ones that are sick and ailing should make a votive oath.
Anniversary of the Unification of Bulgaria
The Unification of Bulgaria was the act of unification of the Principality of Bulgaria and the then-Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia in the autumn of 1885.
Autumn Salon of Arts' 2019 opens tonight
Autumn Salon of Arts' 2018 opens tonight
St Simeon,s Day
St Simeon,s Day
9/1/2019 8:00:00 AM
Name day of everyone named Simeon, Simona or Marta (although Marta would rather celebrate on March 1).
SEKNOVENIE / EQUINOX (also known as Black Saint John)
People honor this day as the Equinox (meaning even day, i.e. the length of the day equals the length of the night).
Anniversary of the death of Tsar Boris III
Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria (January 30, 1894 - August 28, 1943), originally Boris Klemens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver, son of Ferdinand I, came to the throne in 1918 upon the abdication ...
On August 27 1885 Aleko Konstantinov organized a group of 300 people who climbed the Cherni Vrah peak
Aleko Konstantinov - Keen tourist and founder of the tourism movement in Bulgaria – on August 27 1885 he organized a group of 300 people who climbed the Cherni Vrah peak 2290m (near Sofia), giving rise to the mass tourist organization.
SAMUEL, Prophet
SAMUEL, Prophet
8/20/2019 8:00:00 AM
The day of Prophet Samuel - Name day of everyone named Samuil.