Bulgarians Celebrate St. George's Day - The Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army
On May 6, Bulgarians celebrate St. George's Day - the biggest spring holiday, since 1880 it has been celebrated as the Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army.
It is a name day for more than 200 thousand Bulgarians who bear the name of Saint George the Victorious.
The Church regards Saint George the Victorious as a great martyr because of the sufferings in the name of Christ's faith. He is one of the most revered saints because of the miracles of God, prayed for by him for the believers, says Father Stoyan from the metropolitan church "St. George" in the "Darvenitsa" district, reported the National Radio.
"In his life, it is precisely his deep faith that is described, and he is one of those saints who are called great martyrs, that is, they suffered great suffering for the sake of Christ - how he walked in red-hot shoes, they let him into slaked lime. It was because of this deep faith that he is so great in the eyes of God, there is such a great audacity, precisely because of this prayer help that Christians receive. That is why you will notice how many churches in Bulgaria are of St. George the Victorious, how many people bear the name of St. George the Victorious."
Saint George's courage and love make his Christian feat inspiring.
For 30 years, in the Sofia Church, whose patron saint is the saint, the social kitchen is a tradition. One hundred and fifty people receive food from the church, prepared by volunteers.
"Here they cook delicious food and pour it in front of your eyes from a cauldron."
"I will count on the church for St. George's Day."
The Life of the Warrior Saint tells that during the time of Emperor Diocletian, George was a soldier. Only 20 years old he reached the rank of military tribune (head of a legion). As he was a clever and capable young man, the emperor also made him a member of the council of state, not suspecting that he was a Christian.
When it became known, the emperor asked St. George to renounce his faith, but he refused. Because of this, he was subjected to many tortures. After each of them, however, he recovered, because the Lord himself healed his wounds with his touch.
St. George responded to the invented new and cleaver tortures of the emperor with the words:
"You'd sooner get tired of torturing me than I should endure the torture."
He was beheaded on April 23, 306. The most famous miracle performed by St. George was the slaying of the dragon. The serpent ate one of the children of the town every day until the saint pierced it with his spear. Because of the miracle, the people in the city believed in God and were baptized. It is from here that the most popular image of the saint on icons originates - on a white horse with a spear in his hand and a dragon at his feet.
The Day of Courage
The holiday of the warrior St. George is celebrated as the Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army. The tradition dates back to 1880, when Prince Alexander Battenberg decreed its celebration.
In the past three years, the traditional military parade for the holiday was not held due to restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus. This year, when the Bulgarian Army celebrates the 145th anniversary of its establishment, the military columns will once again pass through the center of Sofia in a solemn march, and the formation will be accepted by President Rumen Radev.
Prior to this, there will be a water light of the battle flags and flag shrines in front of the monument to the Unknown Warrior. The army's land and air equipment will be on display.
St. George's Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the Bulgarian ritual calendar. Folklore preserves an echo of the tribute to him in folk songs:
"Easter is a personal day, St. George's Day is twice as personal."
St. George is traditionally seen as the ruler of spring moisture and fertility (in popular beliefs he defeats the serpent and unlocks the springs), the patron of farmers and especially of shepherds and herds. This holiday marks the beginning of the economic year. A lamb is killed and prayers are offered for fertility.
According to folk tradition, the festive table for St. George's Day is made outdoors - "on the green". Roast lamb, ritual breads, fresh milk and cheese are usually placed on the table on this day.
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