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This year Sirni Zagovezni is on Sunday 26.02. - a time for forgiveness and „zagovyavane”
Friday, 24 Feb 2012 - Ethnographical Museum
A special place in the annual circle of Bulgarian folk holidays is given to the customs related with the Easter Lent - Mesni and Sirni Zagovezni. Both holidays are always falling on Sunday, but the date depends on Easter. In 2012 Mesni Zagovezni (Meat Lent) is on 19.02. and Sirni Zagovezni a week later on 26.02. The week between these two Sundays is called Sirnitsa.
The traditional family dinner on this day contains only meat, hence the name of the holiday. After this celebration it is forbidden to eat meat until the end of the Easter fast period. The Saturday before Mesni Zagovezni is Meatfare Saturday. On this day we honor the souls of our deceased relatives, it is believed that on this day they come out and remain out until Pentecost (fifty days after Easter).
On the Sunday a week after is celebrated Sirni Zagovezni. During the day the young families visit their godfathers and parents and ask for forgiveness. The women visit the granny, who helped them deliver. Without forgiveness the custom can not be completed! In the evening a rich feast of dairy products is served, the most important one of them is the pie with cheese (banitsa). After or during the dinner takes part another ritual called “hamkane”. And then for the young maidens and bachelors comes the time to play one last mixed horo, dancing wildly and leaping around the bonfires (bg: sirnishki ognyove).
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