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.
Ancient Customs and Rituals

The inhabitants of Strandzha preserved till nowadays and hand down to the generations certain beliefs, customs and rituals, which keep the spirit of different cultural influences. Some of these ceremonies are unique and typical only for Strandzha region. They date back from ancient times and are connected with old pagan rituals.

The municipality during several years works purposely under the recreation of the traditional customs and rituals some of them are typical for the region and are not performed in the other parts of Bulgaria.

Customs and rituals in Strandzha region are connected to determined days of the year which refer to the church feasts from the Christian calendar. Traditional people’s beliefs are about the presence of two periods:

  • winter - from St. Dimiter’s day till St. George’s day
  • summer – from St. George’s day till St. Dimiter’s day

Customs and rituals (winter cycle):

From the winter cycle customs and rituals are differentiated as series of Censing evenings. The first one is against St. Nicolas’ day; the second one against Christmas and the third one is against St. Ivan’s day. The fourth censing day is appeared in St. Vassil’s day.

Customs and rituals (spring cycle):

  • In Mummers' games are hidden a great wealth and relations to the carnival games in Greece devoted to the pagan God Dionysius
  • The games of “filek” most strongly characterized the originality of the Strandzha folklore. The games start with burning of a basket to the square and the participation of all inhabitants of the village.
  • Mart ritual custom – throwing of a piece of red fabric – a belt, an apron over the veranda before sunrise in order to be pleased grandmother Martha.
  • The custom connected to the Midsummer Day is unique to the Starandzha region. Burning of fires for health jumped over in the evening and in the morning before sunrise trundle on the green moan again for health. The personal flower bunches are named.
  • All villages from the municipality have their own fairs connected to the day of a different saint. In the town of Malko Tarnovo that is the day of St. Virgin Mary. It is celebrated in the end of August by a picnic into the area of Tsurnogorovo where is situated the chapel of St. Virgin Mary.
    • The biggest fair in the region of the municipality is in the middle of August, lasts two days in the area of Petrova niva. It is celebrated the Ilinden-Preobrazhensko uprising.
      Last updated: 26.04.2006