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Today is Ilinden - St. Ilia (Elijah)s day

Today is Ilinden - St. Ilia (Elijah)s day

7/20/2006 12:29:29 AM

The holiday is connected with the Slavic god of thunder and lightning ? Perun. Folk tradition requires that in order to honor Elijah the Thunderer, the oldest rooster must be killed. This way roosters in the house become younger and stronger. Same thing happens with the ?roosters? in the village ? the inauguration of new marriageable lads is on that day. It takes place on the village square in front of everyone - young and old. When a lad decides that he is old enough to keep house and raise a family, at the horo dance in the evening the oldest bachelor in the village takes from the lad?s mother or female relative a new red sash and ritually girds it on the lad.

The bachelor holds one end of the sash, the lad takes the other end, puts it under his breast and turns round until the sash is girded on. Meanwhile the old bachelor blesses: ?E-hey! As this sash is winding round, so the lasses wind round you!? . ?Amen!? say the others and the wisted horo dance starts. The old bachelor introduces the lad into the horo and he acquires the status of a bachelor who can flirt with the lasses without being funny in the eyes of the other young men.

Then people go to the temple and eat together at table. Young women don?t wash themselves on that day because the Dragon will fall in love with the one that has washed herself.

Everyone having the name of the saint - Iliya, Iliana, Iliyan, Ilko, Ilka who have their nameday today, as well as it is the special feast of all the curriers, furriers, and the producers of pack-saddles and tiles.

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