Bulgarians Celebrate St. George's Day
The Orthodox Church commemorates one of the most revered saints, the great martyr George the Victorious.
On St. George's Day, more than 220,000 Bulgarians have a name day, and Georgi (George) is the most common male name in Bulgaria. Nearly 152 thousand people in the country have it.
The church sings of the great martyr George as a victor because of the sufferings he suffered for the faith. He was a young, handsome and capable military leader. He distributed his inheritance to the poor, thus preparing for a Christian feat.
He bravely defended the faithful before the emperor Diocletian, who had undertaken fierce persecution against them. In response to his audacity, the brave warrior was subjected to cruel and indescribable torture, which he accepted with courage.
Christ Himself appeared to him and healed his wounds. Witnesses of the toughness, many believed him. Among them was the emperor's wife.
St. George was beheaded with a sword in the 3rd century.
To this day, the valiant warrior of Christ is an inspiring example to believers.
On St. George's Day, lamb is traditionally placed on the table. For the temple holiday in some places in our country they will observe the church statutes, according to some today is also a fast day, as it falls on Friday and they will prepare a sacrifice - of fish or beans.
St. George's Day is one of the most beloved spring holidays in the Tundzha Valley. In many of the villages of Yambol the traditions are remembered to this day.
For the holiday, the hosts decorate the gates and barns with green twigs of pear or nettle, clean the yards and prepare ritual breads. As a sign of respect for St. George, the first male lamb born during the year is slaughtered, says Elena Nikolova from Bolyarovo:
"Before they kill the lamb, they smoke it - they light a candle on the horn and burn it. We collected all the lambs and baked them in ovens. When we take them out, we take them to church again to be sung or we gather in a meadow, in the open, and the priest will go sing to them and we give each other lamb for health."
There are over 3600 namesakes today in Yambol, and over 2660 men are named Georgi (George).
Name day also have people with the names: Gencho, Gergana, Gergina, Ginka, Ganka, Ganya, Gancho, Georgia, Gabriela, Gabriel and their derivatives.
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