June 24th: Eniovden
On this date, Bulgarians celebrate Eniovden (Day of Enio).
Eniovden is a traditional holiday celebrated on June 24th every year. On the same date, the Orthodox church celebrates the day of John the Baptist, and the customs and rituals of both celebrations overlap.
In different regions, the holiday is called in a slightly different manner – in the Sofia region the holiday is called Yanevden, in Struga – Ivanden, in Ohrid – Ivandan, in Veliko Tarnovo – Ivan the Herb Gatherer or Dragiika. The holiday is also very near to the summer solstice, and thus many of the customs are connected to the sun and the cult to the light. June 24th is the Name Day of all people called Enio, Encho, Ioana, Ioan, Yani, Yana, Yanka, Yanko, Yancho, etc.
The myths say that Eniovden marks the first glimpse of the upcoming winter – as the saying goes, “Enio takes his coat and goes in search for snow”. According to ancient beliefs, the sun flickers early in the morning, and whoever sees that, will be healthy for the whole year. When the sun rises, one must look at his own shadow – if it’s definite, he will be healthy; if it’s unclear, he will be sick.