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Bulgaria celebrates the wine holiday – Trifon Zarezan!

Bulgaria celebrates the wine holiday – Trifon Zarezan!

On 14th of February, Bulgarians celebrate the holiday of vine-growers and wine-makers, known as St. Trifon Zarezan (Trifon the Pruner) - the Bulgarian patron saint of vineyards. On 14th of February, Bulgarians celebrate the holiday of vine-growers and wine-makers, known as St. Trifon Zarezan (Trifon the Pruner) - the Bulgarian patron saint of vineyards. Trifon Zarezan is the traditional Bulgarian wine celebration.

On 14th of February, Bulgarians celebrate the holiday of vine-growers and wine-makers, known as St. Trifon Zarezan (Trifon the Pruner) - the Bulgarian patron saint of vineyards.

Trifon Zarezan is the traditional Bulgarian wine celebration that marks the time of year when vine-growers trim back their vines.

The holiday marks the dividing line between the outgoing winter and the onset of spring - the transition between the dead winter season and the invigorating powers of the following seasons. There are many rituals performed to ensure vitality and fruitfulness.

The first pruning of the vines for the season is the main ritual performed on February 14, when people gather in the vineyards outside the villages.

Men set out to the vineyards to prune the vines, while women bake festive bread loaves in their houses and prepare roast chicken stuffed with rice. They put these and a flask of wine in a woolen bag and see the men to the gate. Women also knead special round loaves - a symbol of the fertile field, and generously hand them out to neighbours and relatives.

There are many different folklore versions of the way this Day is celebrated in different parts of the country, as well as many different legends about who Trifon was. However, ethnographers are unanimous that the celebrations are rooted in the ancient Dionysus festivities, celebrating Dionysus – the God of Wine, who was known to have taught people everywhere he went, how to grow vines and make wine.