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Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Demetrius

On October 26, the Orthodox Church honors the memory of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki who perished for the Christian faith in the early 4th century. In Bulgaria’s folklore calendar the Day of Saint Demetrius, also known as Dimitrovden, is considered to be the beginning of the second half of the year-marking end of fieldwork and construction works. Saint Demetrius is regarded as a patron of winter and cold. Demetrius has a long white beard from which a snow is falling. This is the day on which the seasonal workers employed at St. George’s Day receive their remuneration for the whole period. Some of them begin to prepare for engagements and weddings, others are preparing to seek employment elsewhere. For this reason, Dimitrovden in Bulgaria is celebrated as a holiday of apprentices, builders, etc.

According to folk beliefs, Saint Demetrius and Saint George were twin brothers. The twins divided the year in two equal halves. St. George received the summer and St. Demetrius received the winter. The division applies to the farming year- from St. George’s Day the spring-summer cycle of farming begins and from the Feast of St. Demetrius- the autumn-winter one.

Dimitar, Dimitrina, Dimko, Dimka, Mitko and Mitra celebrate their name day on Dimitrovden. The day is marked by large family gatherings, where people dance traditional horo chain dances and sing beautiful folklore songs.

Today, we bring you a slow song from the music repertoire of the famous Thracian singer Valkana Stoyanova. The piece “Dimitar Rano Podrani” tells an ordinary life story:

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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