The present publication is preparated with the support of the European Union. Responsibility for the content of this publication is borne solely by the Municipality of Malko Tarnovo and "Development Foundation of Malko Tarnovo town" and in any case it cannot be considered that the content of the current publication reflects the opinion of the European Union.
The Ritual “Nestinarstvo”
On the celebration’s day of Malko Tarnovo town - 23rd of August is reproduced this ancient ritual
On the celebration’s day of Malko Tarnovo town - 23rd of August is reproduced this ancient ritual

The “Nestinarstvo” ritual (fire-dancing) is an incredible Bulgarian rite phenomenon. It doesn’t reveal its mystery until nowadays. It is a system of beliefs and ritual’s acts fire-dancing calendar.

This ritual is an ancient pagan custom, that exists from millennia in the Bulgarian rituals and it is unique of its kind in Europe. It is performed on the 21 of May – the day of Saints Constantine and Elena.

Under the accompaniment of a pipe and the even rhythm of a nestinar drum the dancers take steps round the fire with icons in hands and gradually they sink into trance. The view of the dancing barefoot people takes your breath away. This dance in the fire is very specific and unique. Inevitably your feet become moving in a moderate fast step in accordance to the hypnotic melody that fills the night. You are obsessed of the feeling of a God’s presence. But only the dancers are these, who during the dance have visions for the future or see saints who are walking before them and tread the embers out.

The ritual is covered with mystism and magnetism, but the enigmatic smiles of the locals keep the secret of this pagan ritual.

Last updated: 26.04.2006