But of all the winter holidays, Trifon's day was the most interesting for us, a day at the turn of winter and spring. Admittedly 14 February was not marked red in calendars, but almost all of Bulgaria is celebrating on this day.
And although Trifon Zarezan - a folk saint - did not find a place in the church iconostases, after all, he has them in the hearts of all winemakers and wine lovers.
The folk tale explains Trifon's contribution to the Bulgarian winemaking: from childhood, Trifon worked in the vineyards of the Good God and fulfilled his duties perfectly. But the work did not give him satisfaction, and he finally hated the vineyards. One day, and that was it 14 February, he was overcome with such great anger at the former, life filled only with hardship, that he cut down the whole vine in the vineyards of the Dear God. The effect of this step, however, was completely unexpected - the vineyard produced grapes so big and sweet, like never before. When the Good Lord tasted the wine from these grapes, he was delighted with its quality and power. He summoned Trifon and wanted to make him holy as a reward. Trifon, however, thanked for the honor and departed from paradise, which had long bored him, to look for a place on earth. In his travels he reached Bulgaria, where he found everything, what he dreamed about - a beautiful country, hot sun, welcoming nation and good wine. So he stayed here permanently, to look after the vineyards.
Thus, In Bulgaria, wine country, day 14 February is a national holiday, and the activity, which takes place then - pruning the vine - is celebrated especially solemnly and takes on the features of a ritual almost symbolism. We go to the vineyards collectively, whole families with numerous invited guests. A dignitary from Sofia is obligatory on this day in large farms. The farmer cuts the grapevine, he waters it with red damajana wine”, blesses the vineyards by wishing himself and his loved ones a year full of harvest. Then he gives the bottle entwined in wicker to his wife and friends - hence the form of a jug with four ears (museum in Plovdiv). During the feast lasting many hours, toasts are densely fulfilled, she dances folk dances (punishment, roe deer) and sings old songs about wine, like this one, everyone knows here:
“Do you have wine! I have little wine, give it to us,
Is it ugly?, September or not, it is ruined wine, put go on us!”.
The participants of the Bulgarian bacchanalia return home with a song on their lips, by mobilizing the traffic police to vigilance, which spares no mandate on this solemn occasion.
The first activities in the vineyard also basically end the winter period, which in Bulgaria - with wine and bow, it passes very quickly.