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 The holyday is a glorification of the spring awakening, youth and love. It is associated with one of our most picturesque customs – Lazaruvane. On this day, young girls in groups of 8, 10 or 12 visit all the houses in the village. People call them Lazarki.

Well dressed, with wreaths of greenery and flowers on their heads, they sing songs for every member of the family in each house. The lyrics are about love, marriage, family life, and at the same time are wishes for health, happiness and fertility.
The group is led by Kumitsa – the most prominent girl in the village. She has a key role in the ritual. As the lazarki sing and dance, the Kumitsa goes to the housewife, puts a towel on her right shoulder and waits to receive in return white eggs, walnuts and small coins. It is the Kumitsa who tells the girls what songs to sing in each house. She is the one who leads the famous dance of the lazarki – „open horo“, which is most often performed on the square.

At the end the girls perform the final ritual element – telling the future. In some villages they put their wreaths on a wooden paddle. A bachelor takes the paddle with the wreaths and places it in the river. The owner of the wreath that is the first to float will marry first. In other regions the maidens perform another ritual. The previous day every of them puts a special token – a bracelet, a ring, a flower, in a pot. The pot is put under a blossoming rose for the night. A specially selected girl takes the tokens out one by one and tells its owner what the man she will marry will be.
People believe that in order to get married a maiden should have taken part in the ritual of Lazaruvane. A beautiful combination of clothing, ritual activities, songs and dances, this custom is a rare pearl in the cultural heritage of Bulgaria.

 

Photos: assotiation "Spectar 21 vek"