The Bulgarian Wine Festival Trifon Zarezan
On February 14, along with the day of love, the Bulgarian winemakers celebrate another party as well. February 14 is the day of St. Trifon – The Patron Saint of winemakers, café owners and all wine lovers in Bulgaria. According to the tradition, on this particular day men start festively with the pruning of the vines while enjoying all the goodies that mother or woman prepared for them in the early morning.
The roots of this holiday are hidden in the far distant past and probably is related to the Thracian god of the wine – Dionysius. The pagan customs messed with the Orthodox traditions and people invented an amusing legend about Trifon Zarezan.
The legend of Saint Trifon
This funny legend about Saint Trifon may actually be the missing connection between Trifon Zarezan and Valentine’s Day. Once, Saint Trifon went to his vineyard to cut the unnecessary branches from the vines. He was focused on his work when a beautiful woman passed by. He was so enchanted by her beauty, that he accidentally cut his nose with the clippers.
Trifon Zarezan or Valentine’s Day?
Every year, from the beginning of February, a hot public dispute opposes the two holidays in Bulgaria. Arguments are in favour of making Bulgarians stick to their roots and traditional holidays, on one hand, or justifying the freedom of people to celebrate whichever occasion they want, on the other hand. Recently, February 14 has been turned into a combined holiday when Bulgarians celebrate their love for their better half, or their love for wine.