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On the eve of Midsummer's Day “the sky opens”

Photo: BGNES

Midsummer's Day or Enyovden in Bulgaria is always celebrated on June 24, when the church honors the birth of St. John the Baptist. Folklore traditions are associated with the day of the summer solstice, when the sun "twinkles" and "plays" at sunrise and heads into winter. The Christianized folk image is that of St. Enyo putting on his coat and going to bring winter back.

According to folklore beliefs, at midnight on Enyovden, "the sky opens"; the stars "come down to earth" and give the grass and flowers magical healing power... Supernatural beings also emerge - vampires, zmey, samodivi. Maidens and brides welcome the sunrise and try to guess by their shadow if the year would be healthy and prosperous. The nestinari (fire dancers) in Strandzha dance on glowing embers, while in other places ritual fires are lit, representing the heavenly fire or the Sun.

Midsummer's Day is a long-awaited holiday in the village of Dolni Bogrov near Sofia. There, women dress in white shirts and go out early in the morning to collect various herbs. An article from the treasury of Radio Bulgaria also tells about this tradition.

People named Enyo, Encho, Yana, Yanka, Yanko, Yancho celebrate their name day.

We congratulate them in advance with the song "Elin-pelin" performed by Anastasia Kostova - an emblematic performer of folk songs from the Dobrudzha folklore region. Anastasia Kostova's repertoire consists of over 250 folk songs, most of which are kept in the Golden Fund of the BNR. "Elin-pelin" is among the most popular ones.

English: Al. Markov

Photo: BGNES

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