Celebration 7 weeks before Easter– “Sirni Zagovezni” (Сирни заговезни)

Tradition and Ritual 

Bulgarian Orthodox tradition celebrates Sirni Zagovezni (“Forgiveness Sunday”). This feast takes place on the last day before Easter Lent (7 weeks before Easter).

On that day, all Christians are called to ask forgiveness from their relatives and friends but also to forgive others who have offended us. Thus, believers can follow Christ’s precepts “If you do not forgive the sins of men, God will not forgive your sins” (Matt. 6:15).

According to tradition, the family gathers around a meal made up of cheese, eggs, dairy products, butter, and fish. So, the younger ones should ask their parents and older relatives for forgiveness.

In Preslav, the chitalisté brought adults and children together for this Christian celebration. The feast consisted of eggs, cheese, pogacha, and halva (халва- Turkish confectionery). During the day, the children participated in a traditional game that involved catching a piece of halva attached to a wire with their mouth – on their knees and without their hands.

Finally, a fire is lit to wish everyone good health all year round.

Thus, this celebration allows us to prepare for the coming weeks of fasting and abstinence.