Daily webcast

Bulgarian National Radio © 2021 All Rights Reserved

St. Peter's Day marks start of true summer

Photo: library

Today, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, known among Bulgarians as Petrovden. St. Peter's birth name was Simon and he was an ordinary fisherman from Galilee. After becoming one of the first disciples of Jesus, he received the name Peter. Saul (Savel) was a Jewish preacher and Roman citizen from Tarsus in Cilicia and was originally among the fierce persecutors of Christ's disciples. During a storm on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him in bright light and Saul converted to Christianity, becoming Paul and spreading the religion in Asia Minor and the Balkans. Both apostles died in martyrdom on the same date - June 29 during the reign of Emperor Nero (64-68 AD).


Petrovden is a particularly important holiday in Bulgarian traditions. The holiday coincides with the beginning of summer and the height of the harvest season. According to Bulgarian folklore, the two apostles were brothers. St. Peter strictly guards the gates of Heaven and lets only the righteous souls in, while St. Paul is just and nice. According to folk legends, St. Peter was so strict that he did not allow even his own mother into Heaven because she was an evil woman. The holidays of St Peter and St. Paul follow one after the other. On June 30 Bulgarians celebrate St. Paul's Day, as the tradition exists in the region of Dobrudzha, in Eastern Bulgaria and the Rhodope region.

For the residents of the village of Teshovo, located on the southern slopes of the Pirin Mountain, the day of the Apostles Peter and Paul is much more special this year as the renovation of the chapel on the peak of "St. Peter” had been completed before the eve of the holiday. On Petrovden the local residents will hold a traditional tour across the village and a prayer for fertility and rain will be held. Finally, a liturgy will be served and festive meals will be served to believers.

On this day craftsmen in Bulgaria celebrate, as well as people named Peter or Pavel.

Editor: Darian Grigorova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: library, Facebook /@teshovo

More from category

Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov

Silver killer-ring is one of the valuable finds at Misionis

The numerous finds from different periods and of different historical and scientific value discovered this summer show that the town of late antiquity – Misionis - near Turgovishte, one of six major archaeological sites in the country, existed..

published on 10/17/21 1:30 PM

After 100 years, Russian artist restores St. Paraskeva church in Balsha back to its former glory

Elena Adamova is an artist from Saint Petersburg who has made icon painting her life’s work. She came to Bulgaria out of love, and has been married to her Bulgarian husband for 41 years. She started painting icons in the early 1980s, first for..

published on 10/14/21 10:05 AM

Kyustendil marks 150 years since the modern translation of the Holy Bible

In 2021, Bulgaria marks 150 years since the modern translation of the Holy Bible into Bulgarian, also known as the Constantinople edition. It was translated by Petko Slaveykov. The “Source of future” foundation is holding a series of events..

published on 10/3/21 10:40 AM