| home | forum | site map | 

summer traditions: july: Bodorodichni Zagovezni (The Virgin Mary's Shrovetide) - 30 july

      The Virgin Mary's fast is two weeks long and ends with the big Christian holiday the Assumption, known to the Bulgarians as Goljama Bogoroditsa or Goljama Chjorkva (big church). According to the tradition the Mother of God is honored as a patron of families, children and natality. That is why at the day of her holiday women decorate the icon of the saint with flowers and put gifts - clothes, shirts and money. This is done in order for the women to get pregnant and give birth easily, for the health of the young mothers and the children. Women give each other decorated ritual breads and loaf. The day which is in the middle of the Virgin Mary's Shrovetide is called Transfiguration of God (Sotirovden). According to the tradition the first ripe grapes are picked on this day. It is carried to the church to be sanctified by the priest. Afterwards the women give away the grapes along with some other fruit, which is done for health and wellbeing.