Bulgarians Celebrate Enyovden: A Day of Mystical Traditions and Healing Rituals

Society » CULTURE | June 24, 2024, Monday // 09:11
Bulgaria: Bulgarians Celebrate Enyovden: A Day of Mystical Traditions and Healing Rituals

Today, Bulgarians celebrate Enyovden, a day steeped in mystical, magical, and supernatural traditions dating back to ancient times. Enyovden, observed on June 24th, has pagan origins but is also recognized by both the Orthodox and Catholic churches as the Day of Saint John the Baptist.

This day is a Bulgarian tradition shared across Slavic cultures and is thought to have been adopted from the Thracians, who practiced numerous rituals related to the sun, solstices, and equinoxes. Enyovden marks the beginning of shorter days and is considered a precursor to winter. On this day, the sun is believed to possess magical powers, especially at sunrise.

One significant tradition involves observing the sunrise, where the sun is said to oscillate. According to folklore, anyone who witnesses this will remain healthy throughout the year. At sunrise, individuals should turn towards the sun and observe their shadow over their shoulder. If the shadow fully reflects their body, they are believed to enjoy good health for the year.

Another morning ritual involves washing oneself with running water or rolling in the morning dew, as all water after sunrise on Enyovden is believed to acquire healing properties. Enyovden is also known as the Day of Herbs, as herbs are thought to have the most potent healing powers at sunrise. Therefore, it is customary to pick herbs early in the morning to ensure good health during the winter.

Enyovden rituals are primarily associated with health and fertility. A notable tradition involves dressing a 5-6-year-old girl in white and red clothes, with a red veil and a flower wreath with a silver coin in the center. An unmarried woman then carries the girl on her shoulders, and together with other unmarried women, they walk around the village and fields, singing songs for health and fertility.

On the eve of Enyovden, unmarried girls participate in a ritual involving “silent water.” They drop bunches of flowers and rings into a jug of this special water, which is guarded overnight by a fortune-teller. In the morning, a girl dressed as a bride, with her eyes covered, retrieves the posies and rings, predicting the future husbands of the other girls.

During Thracian times, Enyovden rituals heavily involved wine—offering it to the gods, feasting with it, and performing various rituals. Even today, wine and herbs remain central to the Enyovden traditions. Participating in these rituals is considered highly purifying for both body and soul, connecting individuals with the supernatural through the divine drink of the gods—wine.

Today, nearly 47,000 Bulgarians celebrate their name day on Enyovden.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Culture » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Enyovden, Bulgarians, sun, tradition

Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria