August 15 - Assumption of Mary

How the people of Strandzha celebrate Assumption

On 15.08, every year the Christians celebrated the feast of Virgin Mary, patron of women, motherhood, guardian of the family home.
On this day the locals go to church carrying wheat from the new crop, honey, cheese and grapes. Who gives more honey to the church, more bees will flock to him. The women lay towels and pillows by the icon of Virgin Mary, and after the church service hand out bread for the health of their children. The young ones light candles. Feasts and fairs are organized in the villages.
A boiled cock stew is prepared to end the preceded 14-day fast. Some make kurban for health (stew prepared out of a specially sacrificed animal, which then is given out). In the village of Brodilovo this is the day, when people eat grapes for first time in the year.
For three days after the holiday people of the ethnographic group tronki predict the weather in the upcoming winter. If the day is sunny, the respective winter month will be cold.
After Assumption the girls from ethnographic group ruptsi already start to prepare the traditional gatherings (sedyanka).

The night before Assumption, sleep on holy ground, wish something good and believe that with the blessing of Mary it will come true!

Rosica Topalova curator in department "Ethnography"