St. George’s day
May 6th is St. George’s day – Day of bravery and holiday of the Bulgarian army. St. George is also the patron saint of shepherds and herds.
St. George’s day is considered one of the two biggest spring holidays, along with Easter. However, it’s revered the most when it’s a sunny day, which is called “Green George” (or Colourful George).
The preparation for the holiday begins on May 5th. Young girls pick flowers and weave garlands for the lamb that will be slaughtered as an offering. Ritual breads are prepared, and the biggest of them is named after the saint George. The first born male lamb of the year is slaughtered and then blessed.
The blood from the slaughter is poured onto the soil to ensure a fruitful year and the fertility of the soil. Everyone in the family gathers around the table for the meal, which is once again blessed. The family eats, drinks and sings song like “St. George walks around”, “Geranium for St. George’s day”, “Garland for the lambs”.
The meal must includes roasted lamb, fresh onion and garlic, salads, chicken, bread and wine. After the lunch, people participate in traditional dances and take turns on a swing. Young girls take out rings, bracelets and flowers from a white cauldron and predict who is going to marry them.
All young girls married this year go out on the center of the village with their wedding dresses. Their godfathers ritually take off the top of their clothing and their shoes. Then they give them everyday ones.
All people named Georgi, Gergo, Gergana, Gero, Giurga, Geto, Getso, Gotse, Guga, etc. have a name day.