Day of St. Trifon Zarezan
On February 1st, the Orthodox church celebrates St. Trifon – healer, renowned for the wonders he accomplished. He was born in 225 AD in the family of poor christians in the Roman empire.
When he was 17, he managed to heal the ill daughter of the emperor Gordian, for which he was given a lot of riches from the emperor’s family.
Just a few years later, Trayan – the successor of Gordian – came to rule and for the short time he was on the throne, he managed to destroy many Christians for their faith.
One of them was Trifon, who did not wish to repent from his Christian beliefs and died from his wounds after long tortures, with a prayer on his lips. February 1st is celebrated by vine-growers, bartenders and gardeners, that are protected by the saint-healer.
The custom dictates that the woman in the household wake early and bake a ritual bread, decorated with a vine-leaf. A chicken is also prepared, along with a bottle of the best wine available. They are all placed inside a colorful sack, which is taken by the man to the vineyard.
Men are gathered at the vineyard to work on it. Turned to the east, they greet the sun and work on three vine trees, decorating their hats with vine leaves. The vines are blessed for a fruitful year.
A “King of the Vineyard” is also chosen – usually a rich man. A feast is provided right at the vineyard or at the home of the king. February 1st is the name day for the people named Trifon.