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Customs and traditions
November 8th – Archangel Michael’s Day

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church dedicates the day of November 8th to St. Archangel Michael. People call the feast day Archangels’ Day (Arhangelovden).

According to the Orthodox Church, St. Michael is one of the seven ministering angels, who always encircle God’s throne. The saint symbolizes the victory of goodness, light and justice. In the religious iconography he is represented with a spear in his hand stamping the devil with his feet.

In the Bulgarian folk tradition Archangel Michael’s Day is associated with the honor to the dead and the human soul.

It is St. Archangel Michael’s task to separate the human soul from the body, that is why on the Saturday before the feast day is celebrated Archangels zadushnitsa (All Souls’ Day), one of the great All Souls’ Days in the year.

In many regions of the country on this day people kill an animal as a votive offering to the saint and make ritual bread reminding of the type of bread prepared for funerals or memorial services.

The eldest in the family breaks the ritual bread, pours wine over it and pronounces the blessing: “St. Archangel, St. Nicholas and all saints, help us , we honor you and we cut a special bread for you, so that the rye grows to the ceiling!”.

A name day celebrate Angel, Angelina, Alina, Lina, Mihail, Mihaylina, Mihaela, Emiliya, Emil, Rayko, Rayna, Rayko, Raya, Radko, Radoslav, Rada, Radostin, Plamen, Ognyan, Milko, Mila, Milen, Milka, Rangel, Rafail, Gavrail, Serafim.


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