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Rousalii Games

The Rousalii are men who go in groups of uneven numbers (3, 5, etc) the whole week and give people and nature health and fertility. They are dear guests in every house. In Western Bulgaria the rousalii are also called Kalushari. The leader of the kalushari is called Vataf and the position is hereditary – following the male line. It is only the Vataf who is allowed to pick medicinal herbs and only he knows the incantation, which is pronounced over the herbs and the flag. By verbal magic he transmits the magical force of nature to the chosen kalushari. They are young married men, who are healthy and quick, they don’t drink, they are honest and goodhearted, can keep secrets and suffer privation for they may not go back to their homes during the whole Midsummer Week. After each of them has endured the fasting period determined by the Vataf, he is consecrated by the leader and he has to learn the rituals.
It is only then that the consecrated kalushar makes an oath before the flag, the mermaid stick and the other kalushars.

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