Bulgarian Faithful Hold Easter Procession with 'Virgin Mary Icon'

Culture | May 2, 2016, Monday // 13:29|  views

File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian Orthodox faithful held the traditional Easter procession on Monday at Bachkovo monastery.

The participants carried an icon of Virgin Mary to mark Easter Monday, also called Bright Monday - an official holiday in the country.

Local TV stations showed dozens of people who had spent the last several days visiting the monastery located near the village of Bachkovo, southern Bulgaria, having arrived from around the country and accommodated in nearby hotels.

Hundreds of people attended the annual procession despite the bad weather - and the fact the image of Virgin Mary was actually a replica.

The latter has been in use over the past years to avoid further damage to the original, which underwent restoration several years ago.

Legend has it that the icon itself remained hidded at the time Ottomans invaded, possibly sometime in the 14th century.

It was found on Easter Monday by two shepherd boys in 1604. Several decades later the annual procession began. Since then it has been reportedly performed for 350 years in a row, even under Ottoman rule (which de facto ended for most of Southern Bulgaria late in the 19th century).



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Tags: Virgin Mary, icon, Bachkovo, Easter, Easter Monday, Bright Monday


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