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spring traditions: may: Spasovden

      This is a movable holiday and is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter. Christ along with the Virgin Mary and the apostles climb the Eleon hill around Jerusalem and he rose up to the sky on this day. This is the last Great Thursday. It is believed that the souls of the dead that were set free on the first Great Thursday go back to their graves on this day. That is why a service for the dead is held. On the evening on Wednesday on the holiday the women go to the cemetery and do the rituals typical for every All Soul's Day.
      There are restrictions such as no washing, no sowing, no weaving and no ploughing.
      The rituals for more rain are typical for this holiday. The lasses dressed like brides play a horo. It is believed that they will get married by the next Spasovden.
      The ritual "waking on fraxinella" is performed on that day. The people believe that the fraxinella blossoms on Spasovden and the rousalii come to pick it and decorate themselves with its flowers. In the evening before the holiday people suffering from diseases go to places where fraxinella is known to grow. They lie on the ground and a new cloth, a specially prepared bread and a cup full of water are left next to them. According to what they find on the cloth or in the cup on the next morning they foretell the destiny of the ill man. If there is a green leave this means that he will get better and if there is dirt or a dry leave they foretell death. The things that were brought are left on the meadow. The ill man often drinks the water from the cup or he rolls himself in the dewy grass with the hope that he might get better.