Eniovden - Midsummer Day


24 June 
Midsummer Day
(Enyo’s Day, Yaniuvden)

This ancient Bulgarian ritual is a basic, turning point in the mythological calendar of the ancient peoples, connected with the summer equinox when the day is longest and the night is shortest. Enyo’s Day is a favorite summer holiday for young and old. It divides the year into two. It is believed that after it winter sets on its long way to the people. The story of how Enyo put on his furcoat and went to search for snow reminds that it is time to think about the long cold months.

People get up early on that day to see how the sun “turns three times” and whoever manages to "bathe" in the dew will be safe from illnesses until next Midsummer Day. Old people say that a long, long time ago, in a village two young people – Enyo and Stana were very much in love. Every day they thought of each other and the bread was not tasty if they didn’t see one another at least from afar. But the girl’s father had decided something else and arranged an engagement for Stana in another village.

The wedding was ready and the matchmakers came to take Stana. The girl went with them for you never turn back a wedding. When they reached the big bridge over the river Tundja she pulled down the bridal veil and threw herself into the river. Her beloved Enyo fell ill with sorrow. He lay ill in bed for nine years and nine beds got rotten under him. During that time there was not a of rain in the village. The river dried up and death struck people and animals. On the tenth year Enyo’s sister took the forebeam from the loom, put the rolling-pin crosswise and wrapped it with a baby bundle. Then she dressed it in women’s clothes, covered it with a white veil and went to Enyo. “Get up, Enyo, get up, brother,” she said, “to see your Stana has come to be your bride…”

The poor man opened his eyes wide, a smile shone on his face, he raised himself with open arms and then died. Strong winds blew and heavy rains poured. The fields grew green, the sheep bleated, and the young girls sang songs of love. Since then there is a custom on Enyo’s Day the young girls to make a “bride” and sing songs of wedding and prosperity. Then they “sing over” the rings to see what man will love them and the music and dances have no end on that day.

Nameday for Yanko, Yanka.






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