Like everywhere on Earth, Bulgarians also celebrate Valentine’s day. In the beginning of February thousands of hearts flooding storefronts, the press, television ads and the heads of naive lovers. But on the same day there is another holiday, much more Bulgarian than the pink one. It is much more important not only for Bulgarians, but for Balkan people at all. We call it – The Wine Holiday.
There is a legend about St. Trifon which says that when he was cutting twigs in his vineyard near him past The Virgin Mary (his sister) with the Christ child. She was going to read the prayer on the occasion of completion of 40 days from his birth. Trifon laughed at her, because he couldn’t believe that she can become the God’s mother. She didn’t say anything to him and just passed. After a while Holy Virgin saw Trifon’s wife to go back to her husband and told her to bring bandages to him in the vineyard, because he cut off his nose. The woman immediately left. As understood why she was there, Trifon wondered: “How can I cut my nose, and keep pruning knives upside down!” And to show her turned the knife and accidentally cut off the tip of his nose. That’s why Trifon is always portrayed with pruning knives in hand.
The custom is on this date to prune the vines. Winegrowers go into his vineyard, cut the vines, cut watered the ground with wine and blessing of fruitful year. Then everybody from the village bring fresh bread, fried chicken and a wine vessel. Together they select the king – the best producer of grapes and wine, make him a crown of vines cut and solemnly led him to his home. There he generously draws them with wine.
For more Bulgarians 14th of February is compare to wine and love. People say that if you are in relationship you can celebrate with your partner and if you are not you can just get drunk with wine. :)
For few years the holiday of st. Trifon is not on 14 February any more. The new date is 1st of February, which is not a problem to Bulgarians to celebrate it twice.