Lazarovden is the feast day of St Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus Christ.
It is celebrated on the Saturday before Palm Sunday according to the Orthodox church calendar and signifies that through Jesus there can be new life after death. It marks the start of Easter celebrations, the most important event of the Christian year.
In Bulgaria, the traditional custom of Lazarus is performed by young girls of the village. In days gone by, it was usually those that were of age and eligible to marry. Indeed it was said that a girl could not marry if she had not taken part in the ritual.
The girls dress in traditional local costumes and tour many houses of their own village singing and dancing Lazarus ritual songs to bless the homeowners with health, happiness, and prosperity.
It is custom for the owners of the houses visited to bestow small gifts, eggs, fruit, or money to the young performers.
TSEROVA KORIA LAZAROVDEN 2022
Due to restrictions of the global virus, the Lazarovden ritual has not been performed for a couple of years in Tesrova Koria.
However, the 2022 Lazarovden Spring ritual has brought a cheerful mood to the eagerly awaited participants and residents of Tesrova Koria as once again the song of the Lazarki could be heard around the village streets again.
It is wonderful to see age-old traditions being upheld in Bulgaria and in particular Tserova Koria.
Traditions which include all religious feasts, build connections in the community, they express and maintain identity.
They motivate and emotionally move us and more importantly give opportunities for children to learn about their own culture in a safer environment.
Thank you to Mrs. Danka Slavcheva for organizing the young Lazarki of our village that brought us color and warmth and much happiness on a beautiful Spring morning.
Indeed, thanks to all participants who keep traditions alive and well in Tserova Koria.
Author: Paul Williams