Ilinden is today
On July 20th, the Bulgarian orthodox church commemorates the saint prophet Iliya – one of the greatest among the righteous of the Old Testament – powerful warrior against paganhood and harbinger of the united faith in God.
Even back in the ancient times, the Christian church calls him “Prophet of the great godly deeds”, “Angel in flesh” and “Predecessor of the Second coming of Christ”.
Ilinden is one of the holidays that “protects” from thunder and hail. An ancient belief holds that saint Iliya is the master of thunder. According to the traditional vision, he is the saint that seeks the crop-destroying dragon in the sky. He shoots the dragon with arrows of fire, resulting in thunder and lightning. When there is lightning “without” thunder, it’s the fire coming out of the nostrils of the saint’s horse.