February1st (or 14 February Old Style) is the day of Trifon Zarezan, wineries and winegrowers. The background of this holiday is associated with celebrations in honour of Dionysus – Thracian and Old Greek god of wine and revelry.
On this day we honour Saint Trifon. People believe that with his blessing the vineyards become fertile. So when the people gather on this day, the viticulturists (vine-growers) ritually look around for him and invite him to come to their vineyards. Then they utter incantations to be born so many grapes so even the saint himself can hide from their sight.
"- Hey Trifon, where are you, we do not see you?
- I can’t be seen from black and white grapes!"
On Trifon Zarezan grape vines are being pruned. Trimming of the grape everyone starts on their own. Viticulturist turns east, crosses himself and cut a few sticks. Then some wine is poured over the cut place and a call for prosperity is uttered. The men decorate with grape branches their hats and wine vessels. Three cut grape sticks are clipped together with a bunch of basil, tied with a red thread and put on the men-only table among the grape vines. The celebration participators, then, choose a king - a man, who is industrious, lucky and respected by all. They put on his head a crown of vine leaves. On the way back they carry him on their arms or pull him on a cart (car). After that the group of men visits the village houses, drinks and utters blessing. The last treat is offered in the home of the king.
Rosica Topalova curator in Department "Ethnography" of Regional Museum Burgas
On January 24, 2013 at 16.00 hours, in the hall of the Natural History Museum Museum of Burgas (30 K.Fotinov St.) we will celebrate the birthday of the Nature Park Strandja. Rossen Vassilev from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation will present the project "Meadow of patches", which will represent Bulgarian in the initiative "Wild flowers of Europe." The idea is that small pieces of cloth with patterns of painted, embroidered or woven flowers, will join in a big "carpet of connected patches". This carpet of flowers will first tour Bulgaria and then will become part of the European meadow.
Logically the patches added in Burgas, would have to present the most valuable flowers from the area, and these are certainly species from Strandzha. That's why exactly on the birthday of the nature park, its director Stefan Zlatarov and the biodiversity expert eng.Ivan Kamburov will introduce some of the most interesting flowers found in Strandza to serve as an inspiration to all participants.
Hosts from Natural History Museum have invited a wide variety of guests for presentations, because the project may include both children and adults as long as they are inspired by the wild flowers and can present in attractive way to the future viewers of "the meadow of patches."
The ladies from the association "Golden Fleece" - Zvezdets will have a special participation in this event with their beautiful works of natural wool collected from Strandzhan sheers and dyed with traditional colors made from plants growing in Strandzha. They will demonstrate not only their production to the participants, but will also show a part of their culinary skills.
On January 17, 2013 at 16.00 hours in the hall of the Natural History Museum Museum of Burgas (30 K.Fotinov St.) will open the photo exhibition „First steps”
The exhibition consists of 60 photographs made by children from the eco club "Vaya" and the club heads. Ecoclub Vaya was created in 2007. Members of the club are children interested in nature, its research and conservation. In 2010 the Natural History Museum of Burgas has developed a program for environmental education for children, called "Adventure at the Museum", funded by the Foundation America for Bulgaria.
One of the areas in which we work with the children, is the perspective of the natural world around us through the lens of the camera.
For those wishing to visit the exhibition, it will remain in the hall of the Natural History Museum until mid-April.
Natural History Museum Burgas in partnership with the project "The Salt of Life", funded by the LIFE + Programme of the European Union and the local Inspectorate of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education organize a student competition for the design of promotional materials for Lake Atanaskovsko.
The competition is open to all students from school class I to XII in the city of Burgas. The competitors will be divided into two age groups - from I to IV class making cards and / or leaflets and V to XII class making booklet and / or audio clip. Deadline is 25.01.2013, projects submission in paper at the Natural History Museum of Burgas (address: Burgas, ul.Konstantin Fotinov 30). The winner will be announced on the 01.02.2013.
[url=http://www.burgasmuseums.bg/uploads//Konkurs_PNM_BBF_Laguna_Atanasovsko_ezero_Pravila.pdf]Download the competition's rules. (in Bulgarian only)[/url]
Our festive program for St.Nicolas Day (Thursday, December 6, 2012) includes:
1. 10:30 hours Inauguration of the ritual table
2. 11:00 hours Special musical salute
3. Opening of the exhibition "Sea stories" - models made by sailor Dragan Krenchev
Students from the Burgas Schools "St. Cyril and Methodius" and "Bratya Miladinovi" will participate with their works dedicated to St.Nicolas Day.
On December 6, 2012 (Thursday) at 10.00 hours in the Natural exposition of Regional Museum Burgas, St. Nicholas Day will celebrate with a performance by the little artists from Kindergarten "Sluntse" named "Tales and legends of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, people and marine life".
Colorful fishes, crabs and other marine organisms made by children from kindergarten "Sluntse" will adorn the museum. The celebration dedicated to St. Nicholas will begin with brief information about the life and works of the saint - the protector of our city. The Dramatization "The Fisherman and the Goldfish", songs and poems on a nautical theme will be performed by our young guests. Prepared by the Museum's curators photos, games and interesting quizzes about the seaside dwellers will enrich the children's knowledge. The kids will learn how to make sailboats from natural materials and will create origami of different marine dwellers.
St. Barbara is a Christian saint and martyr honoured among both Orthodox and Catholics. In the popular believes of the Bulgarians St.Sava and St. Barbara are sisters or servants of St. Nicholas. Thus they prepared his feast, as we learn also from the saying "Barbara kneads (boils), Sava bakes, Nicolas eats (treats the guests)".
St. Barbara protects children from diseases, women turn on her to appease smallpox, she is also known as patron of fertility and poultry. The St.Barbara's holiday is popular mostly among women; the rituals involve mostly girls and women. They wake up before sunrise and go to the well to pump clean "Barbara's" water. With it they knead bread, smear it with honey and give it away to bring health to their children. In Strandzha the bread is knead without leaven and then pierced on top with a fork. They call it "pryasnichena pita". Behind the door the women hung small buns named Baba Sharka (Granny Smallpox). Mothers give their children a few beans, which they rub on their faces while saying "Kakto e byal fasulut, tui da e byala i sharkata"(en: As the beans are white so be the smallpox!)
A candle specially designed for St.Barbara is lightened on top of the ritual bread. This candle is very long, has magical powers and is kept throughout the year. It is lightened only if necessary, in danger of storms and disease, with the belief that it can calm down the elements and stop all evil.
In the morning everyone should eat boiled wheat or corn for a good harvest. If the first guest in the house is a woman, female chicks will hatch.
In different parts of Bulgaria the Day of Saint Barbara is celebrated differently. In some parts of the country kids go around the houses, and in others girls called Barbara's maidens. They call for the health and prosperity. Farmers receive them in their houses with joy and give them apples, dried fruits, flour. This is why 4th of December is known as Women's Christmas. In Thrace, this is the first Christmas night, and as in other areas the first Christmas Eve is Ignazhden (St.Ignatius Day). The ritual restricts on this day are also contradictory. Women should not take on any homework, nothing should be put on the fire, but the most important ritual action is the preparation of bread? And the maidens who want to marry, it was on St. Barbara when they could show how working and agile they are. The one, who first bakes bread and then distributed it to relatives and neighbours, will be the first to get married.
In the Strandzhan village Izvor, the locals identify the saint with the disease smallpox. In the village of Rosen there is another idea - St. Barbara holds a bowl with honey and dab the children to heal faster.
In the various towns and regions, the ritual bread recipes are different, but when spreading the top with honey, all mothers are praying for the same - "St.Barbara help us and protect our children from disease!
On the pictures the women from Community Center "Prosveta" in the village of Lyulyakovo present the ritual activities on St.Barbara's day at the Ethnographic complex in Burgas.
Rosica Topalova, curator in Department Ethnography of Regional Museum Burgas
How to make Kupana banitsa
Ingredients: 3 eggs, 1 kg flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter, ½ liter of milk, yeast the size of a matchbox. Preparation: Mix the crushed yeast with little bit of the milk, sugar and some flour. Allow the yeast to rise. Pour flour into a tray and in the middle set up a "well", where will be put the fuzzy yeast, beaten eggs, salt and fat. Knead the dough as adding milk until it is perfectly smooth. Put the dough in a muslin cloth and drop it in a large pot with lukewarm water, thus the name "kupana banitsa" (bathed banitsa). When the dough is ready, it will float on the water surface more than half size up. Remove it from the cloth and knead it again with flour. Only then it can be shaped and put in an oiled baking form. Over the top spread egg yolk beaten with a little water. Now put it in cold oven. It is important that this bread should not be baked in a preheated oven. Bake at 150°C. To add the end touch, smear the bread with honey.