On 6 May we celebrate St. George's Day, one of the biggest holidays, celebrated in honor of St. George the Victorious and as a Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army. It marks the beginning of spring and is associated with the awakening of nature, the greening of forests and meadows, with the aroma of flowers, herbs and herbs, which is why it is also called "Color George".
According to popular belief, St. George is the patron saint of shepherds and herds, and of the 3rd century also the army. It has been celebrated as a Day of Courage in the Bulgarian Army since its inception. In 1946, the tradition was interrupted and restored in 1993.
According to the church, George was born in Cappadocia. Only at 20 years did he receive a high military title as a talented commander. Because of his Christian faith and beliefs, he was subjected to cruel torture and beheaded under the Roman emperor Diocletian. Thus, George becomes the model of the ideal warrior - a Christian and patron of troops and courage.
Legends and beliefs portray St. George as a glorious hero and dragon-fighter who rescues the most personal girl from the llama. It is this image that is represented in the iconography, which depicts a sitting white horse with a long spear in his hand, stuck in the mouth of a terrible dragon.
The people believe that St. George and St. Dimitar are twin brothers, between whom the year is divided. From summer to Dimitrovden is the summer half, and from Dimitrovden to St. George mark its winter part. Thus St. George's Day foretells the coming summer and the beginning of the new agricultural year. That is why many customs related to agriculture, animal husbandry and health are observed on this holiday.
Tradition requires that on the night of St. George's Day the sheep, which became the first lamb of the year, be milked. It is garnished with a wreath of blackberries, hawthorn and nettles tied with red thread. The little man who is milking the milk is also tied with a colored wrist, and a coin is placed in it to keep milk high throughout the year. For the first time, cheese is made in the home for the first time, but it is not salted so that the milk of the sheep is not chopped.
The most important place in the ritual of St. George's Day is the greenery, flowers and flowering branches that transmit the power of nature to humans and domestic animals. Therefore, farm buildings, houses and gardens are festooned with nettle, beech, hawthorn and flowering tree branches.
Traditionally, on the night of the holiday, people bathe in the morning dew for health. It is believed that in order to receive healing, the sick must be washed in "left water" - a place where rivers turn left.
To make it fertile, the first red egg from Easter is buried in it. The earliest of the house, however, gathers nettles, with which he dances on the feet of everyone at home, so that no evil can catch them all year long.
According to the old Bulgarian custom, every day a lamb is roasted in every home. This is usually the first male born during the year and most often white in color, who drive to the eastern part of the house or to a sacred place called a vow. His blood is smeared with the cheeks of the children to keep them healthy and not to learn lessons. The door sills and corners of the rooms are noted to prevent magic and illness from entering the house. The remaining blood is poured into running water so as not to break the bracket throughout the year. Ritual rituals are almost entirely pagan in nature - they are the sacrifice of the precious, the deprivation of it, a peculiar death, which will give rise to new life and abundance.
In addition to the lamb at the festive table, ritual bread, dairy products, green onions and garlic, boiled wheat, banitsa and wine must be present. Ritual bread (called by various names - beehive, yeast, saithe, harman, butlak) is prepared the previous day. New yeast is mixed for it so that the sheep are milked. For "kneading" use "silent" or "colored" (with flowers and herbs soaked in it) water, and the kneader - a young bride or "clean" girl, put on new clothes and put on a wrist and red thread. During the pressing, the dough is rolled up with a female shirt to give birth to female lambs. Ritual bread is decorated with figures of lamb, shepherd's grog, sheepdog, shepherd.
During the meal, interesting ritual practices are also performed: in eastern Bulgaria, the youngest stand straight at the table "to make tall hemp." Elsewhere, honeymooners are lumped with lumps of fertility cheese.
St. George's people play around the table all day, and for health, everyone is drawn to the scales and swinging on swings.
All nouns are celebrated on this day - Georgi, Gero, Gergana, Gurga, Gets, Gotse, Ginka, Ganka, Gennadi, Gancho, Gloria, Galin, Galina, Galya.