One day is one of the most important summer holidays in our national calendar. It is celebrated on 24 June, when, according to the Eastern Orthodox canon, it was the birth of St. John the Baptist (also called the Baptist), who baptized Christ in the waters of the Jordan River.
The festival has different names - Yanevden (Sofia), Ivanden (Western Bulgaria), Ivan Bilober (Northeastern Bulgaria) and is mainly associated with the cult of the Sun.
According to the people of Enyovden, the distant beginning of winter begins - "Enyo has put on his jacket to go for snow." On this day, when the sun rises, the sun "flutters" and "plays", and whoever sees it will be healthy all year long. It is another custom at sunrise for everyone to turn to face the sun and look over their shoulder over the shadow - if it is whole, the person will be healthy, and if drawn in half - he will be ill.
It is believed that before "going to winter" the sun bathes and makes the water healing. Then the dew that falls from it shakes off and has a special magical power. Therefore, everyone should wash before sunrise in running water or rub in the dew for health. In coastal areas, they believe that the sea "stops moving" and bathe in it. During the night before the holiday, water should not be drunk or poured into a vessel, and it should not be washed on the day itself, so as not to make a family member ill.
It is believed that the sun is slowly dying on this longest day of the year. That is why most rituals are performed before sunrise. This also applies to the collection of herbs that have the most healing power tonight. Fairytales, witches and young girls need to pick up 77 and a half. Seventy-seven cure the disease, and for the 'incurable' disease it has half a herb. Nobody knows who she is. We can only find it with our eyes closed, tearing it open by accident.
Before sunrise, a special rite is made to "buy" the herbs from the samodiva - in a circle are arranged baskets with the collected medicinal and magical plants, and the women play a horo around them in complete silence. From the grasses, among which the first one is the devil, are the devil's wrists and gums tied with red thread. They are prepared as much as family members, are called and left overnight. In the morning, they were guessing about health. They are used in various places in the home and used throughout the year to cure them - with which they smoke the sick.
With the herbs and flowers harvested at the feast, a large Eniwski wreath is made, through which all health is glimpsed.
Herbs harvested on this day are believed to have magical power as well. Of these, witchcraft and fairy tales make love potions. Genoese herbs are also believed to have the power to heal childless women and drive out evil spirits.
There is no work being done on the day. In folk beliefs this day is bad and St. Enyo will hit the levels of the one who did not respect him on his holiday.
One of the most characteristic customs of the day is the "bride", performed in southern Bulgaria. The Bride is a little girl (3-5 a year) - the last in the family or an orphan. Four girls dress the child in a bridal dress and then carry him around the village, taking care not to step on the ground. As they roam the fields, gardens, houses, and fountains, the girls sing songs from the day to pray for saint's health and fertility. At the end of the tour, "Ladanje" is also performed - it honors the goddess of love Lada. Already at night the girls left their wrists in "silent" water. The "bride's bride" takes their wrists one by one, while the others sing "hands" - short spellbinding songs that predict the marriage and marry each girl: "yellow bull fever gathers" (the girl will soon marry), "mature quince and overripe "(will marry an old woman)," you are a pebble gutter "(will marry an orphan), etc.
It is believed that on the night of the feast all the heavenly lights "go crazy", at midnight the sky opens and miracles happen, and the dreams are prophetic.
According to legend, witches, witches and magicians appear on the first roosters. They harvested the dew from the fertile fields, thus robbing the harvest. The vagabonds could either grab the milk from the cattle or take away the milk of one mother and transfer it to another.
Also active this night are the lords of the forest - the smokers. In secret, they go by a lake or river, where they wash their clothes and swim. Because they love the kaval tune, they often abduct shepherds to play them.
There is a belief that on the night against Midsummer, where there is buried property, a blue flame comes out of the earth. These, otherwise guarded by thalassic yolks, can at this point be taken safely.
Name day on 24 June is celebrated by Enyo, Encho, Yoan, Yoana, Yanko, Yana, Diana, Deyan, Janislav, as well as everyone with herb names. Pharmacists, herbalists, healers and non-nurses also have a professional holiday.
Finally, let's mention some of the most popular herbs and their healing properties that you can find for yourself on the upcoming mysterious and magical night of 23 versus 24 June.
Enevche - small, colored in yellow and white, with fruit like a dry nut. It is found mainly in dry and grassy places. It has a diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect. Cleans the kidneys, liver, pancreas. It is used in gastrointestinal diseases, depression and nervous tension.
Thyme - you will recognize it by its strong, pleasant aroma and deep purple color. It usually grows tuffs on stony hills and rocky places, along roads and forests. It is suitable for various types of coughs and headaches, for gargle for toothache, it makes paws for boils, sprains and burns.
Red enchantress - with bright red colors and yellow balls in the middle. It is high from 5 to 20 cm. It grows around moist meadows and streams. In Bulgaria it is found in the Western and Central Balkan Mountains, as well as in Sredna Gora, Rila, Pirin and Western Rhodopes. It is used for hemorrhoids, intestinal and gastric pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nervous disorders and inflammatory processes of the eyes and gums.
Zdravets - extremely popular and grown as an ornamental plant in the yards of the Bulgarians. It has a calming effect on the central nervous system, lowers blood pressure, has a hemostatic and anti-inflammatory effect. Affects good insomnia and itchy skin.
St. John's Wort - with yellow flowers clustered at the top of the stem in a inflorescence. It is found in dry, grassy places, shrubs and groves. Because of the hypericin it contains, it is recognized as a natural antidepressant. In addition, it tones the nervous system, strengthens the heart activity and lowers blood pressure.