February 14 is known all over the world as Valentine's Day…
However, this day has additional significance in Bulgaria. February 14th is the day of Saint Tryphon (also known as Tryphon Zarezan) - the saint of the winegrowers.
Tryphon was born around 225. AD, in the Roman province of Phrygia (modern day Turkey).
Tryphon was born into a Christian family and was therefore a believer at a time when Christianity was not the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Said to have cured Emperor Gordian's daughter of an illness and thus contributed to Gordian's lenient attitude towards Christians…So the legend say…But…
Ethnographers associate the celebration of Tryphon Zarezan since the times when the Thracian tribes roamed our lands and Dionisius was celebrated...The aromatic and strong wine produced by them was famous all over the world.
The Thracians believed that the intoxicating effect of wine helped the priests to get in touch with the gods, and for this reason they created a cult of it.
Tryphon Zarezan, as a holiday, is associated with many customs, some of which are preserved to this day.
The mistress of the house gets up early in the morning to prepare ritual bread, which is decorated with a vine leaf. In addition to the bread, a stuffed chicken with rice or bulgur is also prepared.
The housewife gets the prepared food, together with a bottle of wine, in a new woolen bag and sends her husband to the vineyards.
There he performs the rite of passage by crossing himself and cutting three sticks from three vine roots. A wreath is made from them, which is placed on a man's cap, and the roots are watered with the brought wine, holy water and ashes preserved from the burning Christmas fire on Christmas Eve.
This ritual is called "za-ryazvane". After the ritual of cutting everyone gathers and chooses the "king of the vine". He was usually the most generous and respected man in the village. This celebration is predominantly with masculine roots and with women staying at home at the time of the ritual. All the farmers do the same rite in their vineyard and gather at a common table.
After the feast, everyone goes back to the village and drags the king to the sound of bagpipes, and on the way there is a group dance named HORO and they stop in front of every house, from where the owners bring out more wine to treat The king of the vines.When though the King goes home, he and his family prepare a long table, to which all the people from the whole village are invited for a fiest.
Wine and love are an unusual pair.
They have so many things in common that even those who try to tear them apart can't come up with even one meaningful reason why this couple won't stay together and forever in love.
What is love without wine and wine without love?
Love is said to be like wine and vice versa - they make you dizzy, intoxicate, make the colors bright and exciting. A strong start between them is guaranteed. There is no love without wine and no wine without love. The drink was created 6000 years ago in the Middle East…
And love - love knows no age.
Some believe that the first person you meet on the street on this day will be your luck for the whole year ahead.
Even today, in many villages across the country, these customs are preserved and continue to be respected.
St Tryphon or St Valentine, or Dionisius the God of joy, wine, fertility of the land and celebration of the Spring spirits - wine or love, or wine and Love?
This day is an important event in the calendar and shows that the joyful spirit of Dionysius - the god of fertility, merriment and wine - is still alive in our lands. And we all know a glass of good wine with a good meal is healthy and joyful addition to each healthy diet…☺️
In vino veritas
Shared with joy