Terraland Group celebrates today Trifon’s Day – the day of wine and joy

Although each year the festival is celebrated loudly with much laughter and smiles, few of us know the story of its origin.

That is why in the following lines we will try to introduce you to the customs and traditions associated with this day, and hopefully thus be able to deliver you at least a small part of the festive atmosphere.

Bulgaria celebrated St. Trifon – in honor of the martyr St. Trifon, who is considered to be the patron of vine-growers, vintners and innkeepers. After the adoption of the Gregorian calendar the celebrations move from 1st of February and the 14th becomes the Day of the winegrower.

Despite the discrepancy and confusion in Bulgarian tradition the two holidays continue to intertwine, as evidenced by the fact that the saint is often depicted as a young man who holds different cutting tools.

According to ethnographers, the celebration of St. Trifon’s Day originates from the times when on our lands were inhabited by the Thracians. The aromatic and strong wine produced by them was famous worldwide. According to the Thracians the anesthetic effect of the alcohol grape drink helped priests to come into contact with the gods and therefore they created a cult of it.

The Thracian god of fertility, wine and mirth is known as Dionysus and it is believed that it was St. Trifon is his “successor”. Although that in his biography there is nothing related to vineyards and wine, it is a fact, that the feast of the saint almost coincides with the celebration of the Dionysian celebrations, during which the mighty bacchantes danced with small sickles in hand in honor of the wine.

Regardless of its origin in the past, Trifon’s Day has been tied to many traditions, some of which have been preserved until today. The tradition commands for the woman in the house to wake up early in the morning to bake ritual bread decorated with vine leaves.

Besides the bread a chicken is stuffed with rice or bulgur. The hostess puts everything together with a wooden vessel with of wine in a new woolen bag and sends it to her husband at the vineyard.

The man on the other hand ritually cuts three sticks of vines from three roots. From the sticks the man makes a wreath and puts it onto his hat, then waters the roots with the wine, holy water and sprinkles them with ashes, which was kept from Christmas Eve – this ritual is called “trimming”.

All winegrowers get together and chose the “king of the vines”, who is often the most generous and respected. He wears a wreath of geranium, boxwood and young vine shoots – a ritual that once again reminds us of the ancient Thracian god Dionysus.