Bulgarians Celebrate Lazarus Day

Culture | April 8, 2023, Saturday // 08:29|  views

Today, the Orthodox Church honors Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus Christ resurrected.

The holiday of Lazarus Saturday is more popularly known as Lazarus Day and is celebrated on Saturday of the sixth week of Great Lent - eight days before the Resurrection (this year on April 16). With it, the preparation for Holy Week begins.

According to the Gospel account, Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary welcomed Jesus Christ into their home and believed in his mission. While Christ was in the lands beyond the Jordan River, Lazarus fell ill and died. On his return, Jesus resurrected him. The miracle was performed before the eyes of many Jews (the house of Lazarus was full of people, because according to the custom the dead were mourned for seven days) and it became a reason for them to believe in the Messiah:

"Then they took away the stone from the cave where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said: Father, I thank You for listening to Me. And I knew that You always listen to Me; but this I said for the people standing around, so that they will believe that You have sent Me.'' When he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!'

"And the dead man came out with his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths, and his face was covered with a cloth. Jesus says to them: Unwrap him and let him walk. Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in Him". (Gospel of John 11:41-46)

Traditionally, on Lazarov's day, green willow branches are plucked, with which the doors are decorated the next day - Tsvetnitsa (Vrabnitsa).

Bulgarians love lazaring

In the Bulgarian folk tradition, the holiday is associated with the custom of Lazaruvane, in which girls between the ages of 6 and 12 in festive clothes go around homes, dance rachenitsa and sing songs about health, fertility and marriage. According to tradition, a house in which lazarki sang is lucky - it will have fertility, and the owners will enjoy health and a happy life.

In the past, on Lazarovden (Lazarus Day), guys asked for the hands of their chosen ones.

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Tags: Lazarus, Jesus, Christ, Day


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