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St. Theodore's Day or Horse Easter 2022

Saint Theodore's Day refers to the seasonal winter holidays and the greeting of spring


Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Bulgaria once was a pagan country, celebrating the arrival of spring but now honors the memory of the martyr Theodore Tyron. In his honor, this holiday is called Saint Theodore's Day or Todorovden. From year to year, Todorovden is solemnly celebrated on the first Saturday of Lent on the feast day of Saint Theodore.

According to Bulgarian beliefs, snow should melt by this day, and winter crops appear in the fields. The Bulgarians revere Saint Theodore as the patron saint of horses, and for this reason, Todorovden is called "Horse Easter" in Bulgaria.

On the morning of Saint Theodore, the horses in the Bulgarian villages are carefully washed; their manes are braided and decorated with ribbons and bells. Then, they are taken out to the street, where horse shows take place. Villagers choose whose horse is the best-groomed and decorated. After that, a horse racing, Kushia, is arranged. The winner of the competition is generously awarded: he is given a jug of white wine. Additionally, a winner's horse is offered a special dish—baked bread in the form of a horseshoe.

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