Bulgarian traditions: “Tsvetnitsa” (Flowers Day)

"Tsvetnitsa" /Palm Sunday/

Tsvetnitsa” (Flowers Day)

“Tsvetnitsa” (Flowers Day) – Palm Sunday (or Color Sunday) is one of the most beautiful spring holidays, the Sunday after St. Lazarus and the week before Easter. It is dedicated to the solemn reception of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem with olive and laurel branches. So on this day, everyone goes to church festive liturgy with willow branches, bunches of geranium and other spring flowers. After the priest consecrates the willow wreaths, they should be placed in front of the home icon. With these women powwow against the evil eye and diseases. Often during the summer months and stormy weather, they take the willow wreaths outside in the yard and uttering magic spells, watch the cloud through the wreaths to spread it away.

On “Tsvetnitsa“/Palm Sunday/ is carried out the last “lazarski” custom – “kumichene.” Before lunch all “lazarki” go a head to the river. Each girl brings a bunch of flowers, willow wreath or a little bread called “doll” and puts it on ‘chuchulinka‘ – a cut piece of gourd. Girls stand side by side along the coast or on the bridge over the river and simultaneously place the nosegay, the wreath or the bread on ‘malyitsa‘ – special wooden beater for hemp or for washing rugs. That girl whose wreath or bread is carried away most quickly by the water and comes out first is selected for “kumitsa” or “godmother” of the girls. It is believed that she will marry first and leads the dance to home.

The evening is played ‘locked’ folklore dance. The girls are silent in front of “kumitsa” and obediently listen to her until Easter. From that moment she becomes the object of special respect and reverence from other girls.

On the third day of Easter girl-godmother invites all “lazarki” at home and welcomes them with pastry (Banitsa) and red Easter eggs. With this common cheer ends and festive “lazarski” complex through which girls demonstrate their new social status and suitability for marriage and for awaited wedding.

On Palm day celebrate all who have names that derive from the names of plants, especially flowers.