Trifon Zarezan’s Day
A legend tells that when Trifon was only at the age of 17 he cured the Roman emperor Gordian’s daughter and this way he has won recognition and glory.
In several years they tried to make him leave his Christianity but he refused and was sent to the court. They sentenced him to death through decapitation. When they took him outside the city he turned east, prayed and thanked God for giving him “martyr’s wreath”. While he prayed he put his head down and died, released from the painful death.
Another legend says that when Trifon cut his vineyard Virgin Mary passed by him /his sister according to the myth/ with little Jesus Christ. She went to read a prayer for her 40th birthday. Trifon laughed at her. She swallowed the insult and on the road back she passed by his wife and told her to bring bandages to her husband in the vineyard because he has cut his nose. The woman left immediately. When Trifon found out why is she there he said “How could I have cut it, I hold the scissors down, not up!” And in order to show her turned the scissors up and involuntarily cut his nose. This is why they call him “Zarezan” and on the icons he is depicted with scissors in hand.
On the day of the saint performed is ritual cutting of vines. Rites and rituals carried out on this day are mostly related to men. The participation of women is only to prepare the festive table. This day prepared is leavened ritual bread. A chicken is roasted which is filled with rice.
In several regions in the country, mostly in Northern Bulgaria men from certain settlement wake up early and go to the vineyard where they perform a ritual “cutting”. Immediately after the cutting the vines wine is poured on them for fertility. In other places a ritual “kicking of a fruitless tree” is performed this means kicking the trees which gave no fruits. This is made with the purpose of the tree finally to give fruits. After performing those rituals men put the dishes of their wives on the table. Then a king is selected who is called Trifon at some places. The elected king is given a wreath of vine sticks. He is carried on hands by the other men. The elected king performs his obligations for one year. The next year another king is elected.