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Customs and traditions
February 1st – St. Martyr Trifon the Pruner

The Bulgarians call the first days of the month of February Trifon’s days. The Orthodox Church has dedicated February 1st to St. Great-Martyr Trifon, who was put to cruel torture and was slain by sword in 248 because of his faith in Christ.

The Bulgarians honor the first day of the Trifon’s and calls it Trifon’s Day, Trifon the Pruner, Trihun, Trifon the Drunkard. The day is celebrated merrily and noisily, especially in the vinicultural regions of the country. The viniculturists, wine-makers, tavern-keepers and gardeners honor St. Trifon as their patron saint and guardian of the vines. The saint is often depicted in icons with a pruning-knife in his hand. The main ceremony performed on this day is the ritual pruning of the vine. The rite reminds of the coming spring and the beginning of the agricultural year.

While performing the pruning, the vine-grower pronounces a blessing for a rich harvest. The pruned twigs are woven into garlands which the viniculturists put on their fur caps, on their wine vessels, or hang them on their shoulders. They take the sticks home and place them under the home icon.

The ritual pruning on St Tryfon’s Day is performed regardless of the weather. After that day the vines are trimmed regularly.

On St. Trifon’s Day forecasts about the character of the weather and the harvest are also made. It is believed that if on February 1st it snows heavily, then the spring will be rainy, the bees will swarm and the year will be fecund.

On this day celebrate Trifon, Trifonka, Lozan, Lozka.

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