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Spectacular horse races mark Bulgarian holiday Todorovden

Date: 24.02.2007

All over the country, Bulgarians will mark the holiday, known as Todorovden (the day of Todor or Theodor), which is also called the Horse Easter.

The Ortodox Church celebrates the day the first Saturday of the Easter Fast.

The legend tells that on this day Saint Todor Tirone dressed himself in nine furs and went to God to beg him for the summer to come. In connection with the image the people have created of the saint, horse races are held all over Bulgaria.

The fastestа and best looking horse is decorated with wreaths and heads first to the village, where a lass or a newly-wed woman is expecting it. In the house of the horse owner a celebration starts. On the day, women bake and give ritual loaves, named "horse" or "hoof", the dough shaped like a horse or a hoof. The bread is given to neighbors and relatives to keep their horses healthy and strong during the year.

The holiday is a mixture of Orthodox religious beliefs and pagan rituals. Nevertheless it is always thrilling to watch the horse races during the day outside the city.

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