Tsvetnitsa and Lazarov den (Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday)

Tsvetnitsa and Lazarov den (Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday)

Tsvetnitsa and Lazarov den (Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday)

Lazarus Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the day before Palm Sunday, on the last Saturday before Easter. It celebrates the raising of Lazarus of Bethany.

In Bulgaria, Lazarus Saturday is a very special day on which by tradition is practiced the Othodox holiday Lazarov den or Lazar's day.

The main ritual on this day is called "Lazaruvane" - young women, above 16 years old are participating, they are called "Lazarki". They are going to people's houses, dressed in national costumes with willow twigs and flowers in their hairs, signing songs for love, women, fertility, health and family prosperity.

The housewife in each home should welcome and give raw wheat to the "Lazarki" girls. Each of them have to bring it home.

This tradition is still alive and today in many Bulgarian villages, as well as in some neighborhoods in the big cities.

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In Bulgaria, Palm Sunday is known as Tsvetnitsa (tsvete, "flower") or Vrabnitsa (varba, "willow"), or Flower's Day. People with flower-related names ( Lilia, Margarita, Nevena, Ralitsa, Rosa, Temenuzhka, Tsvetan, Tsvetana, Tsvetelin, Tsvetelina, Tsvetko, Violeta, Yavor, Zdravko, etc.) celebrate this day as their name day.

On Tsvetnitsa we go to church and we take holly willow twigs, then we are bringing them home, we are making a wreath of them and put it on the front door to keep the home safe and full of health through the year.