Sirni Zagovezni – Shrovetide
Sirni Zagivezni (Shrovetide) is celebrated in whole Bulgaria. It is called by different names – Sirnitsa, Sirni beginning of lent, sirnica, second, zapostavane, Forgiveness, Sunday Shrovetide and others. This celebration is flexible and is celebrated on Sunday, seven weeks before Easter and one week before the Meat Lent (Mesni Zagovezni).
Sirni Zagivezni (Shrovetide) launches Largest Lent through the year (Easter Lent).It is connect with Kukeri and taking forgiveness. In the Bulgarian folk tradition festival marked the border between winter and spring – reviving nature.
In the morning of Shrove ignite fires on the highest place in the village or the village square. It is believed that reaches far firelight, there will have fertility. Light the straw and skipped health. Light and spun Eulalia (lit tub with tar), oratnici (wood, split, which is straw, which lit) and oruglitsi (smeared with tar basket), children and young people perform ritual cleansing of the fields to bring greater prosperity.
On this day lovers young men thrown into the courtyard of the beloved “chavgi” – burning arrows of cornel tree, representing love an explanation. From this day forward explanations of love and marriage are prohibited until Easter.
On this celebration day wants forgiveness. Traditionally, Youngers visit the homes of older relatives and ask forgiveness. Kiss the hand of their parents and pronounce “Forgive me, mother, my father …” and they respond, “You are forgiven! God to forgive.”
In the Christian sense, to forgive, to believe in forgiveness from the cross of Calvary, to fill your heart with love and peace to meet the Risen Christ / Easter /. But even in purely human understanding, forgiveness is a symbol of nobility and deep inner peace.
Typical of the week after Shrove called Todorova Sunday are mummers (Kukeri) who have pagan origins. Wearing scary masks and belt with bells, they perform a number of rituals for prosperity and banishing evil forces. Mummery (Kukerstvo) is a pagan custom, one of the few distinctive and preserved lands throughout the centuries.
The table of Shrove necessarily present dairy foods as cheese, yogurt, and also, eggs, ritual pastry with cheese or leeks (in the shape of a snake), baked apples, white halva. This is the last day that could be spent with dairy foods. Then begins Lent, which is seven weeks.
After the festive table on Shrove evening ritual is performed hamkaneto. A long thread ties egg or halva. Children should try to catch the eggs without touching with hands. It was believed that only to touch teeth – a year will enjoy good health. After the ritual thread ignites and adults predicted the future in the way burns, what will be the year. If there are young women of marriageable in the house and the thread just flicker – rather waiting for the wedding. If burns thread quickly – much wheat will have this year if the thread smoulder – bad either. The shells of eggs did throw hens to lay more.