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Saint Trifon Zarezan

Saint Trifon Zarezan is thought to be the guardian of vines in Bulgaria and the holiday is in his honor. Not only vine-growers celebrate this day but also gardeners and tavern-keepers. Early in the morning the hostess makes ritual bread. She also prepares chicken which is filled with rice. The chicken is boiled whole. In new woolen bag are put the bread, chicken and wine. With these bags men go to the vine. There they rebaptize and cut three branches of the roots of a vine, then rebaptize again and cover themselves in wine. This ritual is called ‘zarqzvane’ (comes from ‘cut’). Then the men gather together and choose the ‘king of vine’. After all this the feast begins. The ‘king’ carries wreath of vine-stocks. Then they go back to the village, passing by every house. The hostess of the house gives the king to drink wine, and then the other men drink too. Next when these men are back in the village the king redresses in clear clothes and sits at the table waiting for his quests. That is why ‘the king’ should be a wealthy man.

As for the feasting table at Trifon Zarezan it must be prepared very carefully by the hostess. As it has been stated before she wakes up early in the morning to prepare the bread. Then what should be prepared is the chicken. Other things which could be offered the guests are nuts, peanuts, dried fruits, hazel-nuts, etc. These nuts can also be covered with sugar and rum. Wine is an obligatory item at the table. For the cold days of the winter red wine is recommened, for the summer – it is the white wine. Usually in the small towns and villages the wine is being stored in basements. That is why it is good to be taken out of the basement before the guests have already arrived.

On the next day it is good to serve light food because the holiday of Trifon Zarezan is famous for the abundance of food. Suitable products are baked potatos with butter and cheese, omelets and scrambled eggs, boiled vegetables. What is also refreshing are juices made of fruits.

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