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spring traditions: may: Yeremia(Eremia, Zamskiden, Irima, Irminden) - May 1

     This day is celebrated in honour of snakes and lizards and on this day rituals are performed aiming at chasing them and protecting from them. In folk beliefs the snakes come out of their holes on The Holy Forty Martyrs' Day or on the Annunciation, and on Yeremia's Day their tsar comes out of the hole. On this day several rituals are performed: snakes' chasing away; trampling on pieces of broken clay vessels, fires' lighting.
     Snakes' chasing is not on the same day but the night before and it is similar to that that is made on the night before the Annunciation. A girl or a woman takes the tongs and the poker and while making a noise (rattling), she goes round the whole house and the yard. At the same time she utters spells and vows:

     "Run, run away nasty thing!
     Here is your Eremia,
     It will take your guts out
     With the iron rocker"


     "Run away snakes and lizards!
     Here comes the aramia behind the door,
     It will cut your head off,
     It will throw it in the plash."

     In West Bulgaria people light fires and jump over them and while making a great noise they utter the same words.
     Another custom that is observed on this day is trampling on flat earthen baking dishes. In early mornings the lasses, wreathed with cleavers go to dig earth. They gather this earth (clay) at a place and everybody takes turn in trampling it. It is believed that the flat earthen baking dish has a magical force and everybody who tramps the clay, the material from which it is made, will be protected from snake's biting.
     In the past to chase snakes, people put rags or fertilizer in the holes of the walls burned from the morning fire.
     In some regions this day is celebrated especially from pregnant women and women who still have not given birth to a child in order they to be protected in birth and their children - protected from yeremia - a disease caused by different evil spirits.
     In South Bulgaria this day is kept for preserving from hail and thunder.

     Church Holiday: St. Yeremia - a Judean prophet. He predicts that Novuhodonosor will conquer Jerusalem and the population will be spread all over the world. He also predicts that God will send his son and inheritor to the Earth.