< Customs and Rituals

Annunciation – March 25th

Annunciation is a large Christian celebration, established in the 7th century. According to the Bible, on that day, nine months before the birth of Jesus Christ, archangel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God. This good news gives the name of the holiday – Annunciation (in Bulgarian Blagoveshtenie).
In folk tradition this day is connected with the arrival of migratory birds and the spring awakening of nature. At Annunciation everyone looks to leave the house full, with money in the pocket, so if they hear the cuckoo to be full and rich all throughout the year.
On this day vegetables have been sown and fruit trees are grafted. Beekeepers open their hives and let the bees start collecting honey.
Thus the belief that on Annunciation’s day, the snakes and lizards are waking up and come out of their holes, ritual actions carried out have protective and banishing character.
Mornings, before sunrise, the women swipe their houses, light fire in one or three places or in all corners of the yard and with the smoke of burning cow dung drive away reptiles. These actions are accompanied by speaking the words: "Run, sneaks and lizards, run, today is the Annunciation!"[bg: Byagaite zumi I gushteri, dneska e Blagovets].
The children and young boys jump over an open fire, the lads burn their feet slightly to stop the snakes from biting them in summer. Again to protect themselves from snakes, women do not sew – "so the snakes won’t pierce them", and do not knead bread "because a snake could coil up there."

Traditional food for this holiday:
Colorful cake, baked fish, banitsa
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