Bulgarians Celebrate St. Lazarus' Day

Culture | April 16, 2022, Saturday // 11:14|  views

Bulgarian girls perfoming the Lazarice tradition @DarikNews

Today is Lazarus Day (Lazarovden/Лазаровден), the first of three major holidays associated with the miracle of the resurrection along with Palm Sunday (Tsvetnitsa/Цветница) and Easter (Velikden/Великден). Name day is celebrated by Lazar, Lazarin and Lazarinka.

The name has ancient Jewish origins and means “God's help”.

St. Lazarus is always celebrated on the Saturday before Holy Week. It reminds us of the greatest miracle performed by Christ - the resurrection of Lazarus 4 days after his death with the words "Lazarus, come forth!". This became the immediate cause of the Savior's death sentence. That is why it has been established since ancient times that what happened is celebrated before the beginning of the Week of Christ's Suffering.

In the 4th century, the resurrection of Lazarus was considered a church-wide and solemn holiday. Lazarus Saturday is the only day in the liturgical church year when the resurrection (Sunday) service is not on Sunday.

Lazarus' Day is associated with the plucking of green willow twigs to put them on the doors of people’s homes for Palm Sunday. On this day the custom of Lazarice is performed, after which the girls “become ready to love and marry”.

The girls go around with flowers and sing songs in the houses for each member of the family. The woman of the house presents them with eggs, a symbol of life. In folk beliefs, the Christian resurrection is intertwined with the revival of nature for new life.

On St. Lazarus' Day, the memory of the dead is also honored by distributing wheat. Only lean food is served on the table, and fish is allowed to be eaten at tomorrow's Palm Sunday.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Lazarus, Christian, tradition


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