Sirni Zagovezni – The tradition of asking for forgiveness in Bulgaria

This year Orthodox Easter holidays are one month later than the Catholic ones. While Catholics have had their week off, Orthodox still have to wait a month. Lutherans have them together with the Catholics, and Jewish will start a few days before.

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No one forgets the holiday dates, but… Are we still aware of the traditions? Does everyone know that Carnival is the last day before fasting for Lent? Do we really know what Lent means? Do we still stop eating meat, milk, eggs? Religious practices are being transformed by time and space. Social practices are changing them.

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In Dobrinishte they were preparing themselves for Eastern on time. On the 13th of March the neighbours had dinner earlier than usual with meat, milk, eggs or fish. And after dinner along with many other towns in the foothills of the mountains Pirin, Rila and Rhodope, they gathered around a fire lighted with juniper branches and truck tires.

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A fascinating non so environmentally friendly tradition. This was the so called Day of Pardon in which Bulgarians ask for forgiveness to family and friends.

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