St. Trifon’s Day
In the Bulgarian folk calendar, the beginning of February is associated with the day of Trifon Zarezan. St. Trifon is the patron of winegrowers, tavern-keepers and gardeners. February 1, or according to old traditions - February 14, is associated with the pruning of grapevines and fruit trees, with the beginning of the spring-summer period and of agricultural practices. Many of the preserved customs and rituals are identical to the mystical games played in honor of Dionysus - the god of fertility, joy and wine. On St. Trifon’s Day the housewives got up early, kneaded fresh bread and prepared roasted chicken stuffed with rice. Traditionally, they also prepared tutmanik (cheese bread), grilled sujuk and fried eggs, poured wine into а wine vessel and put everything in a new colorful bag. With the full bag men set off to the vineyards to prune the vines in the hope that they would produce more wine. The winegrowers cut several twigs from their vines and poured some wine on the cut places. After that, they made garlands with the twigs and put them on their hats.