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Customs and traditions
June 29th – St. Apostle Peter, St. Peter’s Day

According to the Orthodox calendar, June 29th is dedicated to the Apostles SS Peter and Paul, but in the Bulgarian tradition it is only St. Peter’s Day and is called Petrovden.

In folk songs the two saints, Peter and Paul, are represented as twin brothers. According to folk beliefs, Peter is more powerful and is a carrier of light and the principle of goodness and that is why his feast is considered greater.

Traditionally women take to church a ritual round bread and the first ripe early apples called petrovki (Peter’s apples), so that the priest sanctifies them. After that they give them away to close neighbors for health, especially if there are deceased children in the family. It is believed that in this way children will have something to eat in the hereafter. This tradition is related to the popular image of the Garden of Eden whose master is St. Peter.

On St. Peter’s Day takes place the ceremony of the “ritual undressing and forgiving” of the bride by the godparents. Thus she adopts a new social status. In Thracia these young wives are the first to reap the harvest together with their godparents.

Traditionally on St. Peter’s Day a special festive dish is prepared called white man or kutmach. It is made from churned fresh cheese fried with flour in a pan. The festive table also includes Peter’s chicken, fresh round bread, banitsa (traditional cheese pastry) with butter, pumpkin pie. A name day celebrate – Peter, Petrana, Penko, Penka.

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