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Bulgarian Name Days Celebrate the Beginning of Winter


Dimitrovden or St. Dimitar day is on October 26th.

According to legend, once upon a time a man went fishing and caught a fish which spoke to him, asking him to let her go. So he did. Then, three days later, exactly the same thing happened again. When it happened for the third time, the fish strangely said to the man that he should take her home, cook her and bury the bones under the horse's manger. This the man did.

Some time later, his wife gave birth to a set of twins and the horse had two foals. Both the babies and the foals were called Georgi and Dimitar. As the boys grew to be young men, they decided to explore the world on their horses but they went in two different directions.

One day, Dimitar is said to have seen blood dripping from the eaves of a house and at that moment he knew that Georgi was dead. Dimitar believed the dragons had eaten him so he fought them for his brother's soul. Both brothers mounted their horses and flew to heaven. Dimitrovden ends the transition from summer and autumn to winter. Just as the twin brothers had divided the world in two, the year is divided in two.
From the feast of St George (Gergyovden) to Dimitrovden, it is summer; and from Dimitrovden to Gergyovden it is winter.

This is a big feast day with plenty of fun and during the celebrations, the main meat cooked is chicken or mutton.

People who celebrate on this day are called: Dimitar, Dimitra; Dicho, Dida, Dimanka, Dimitrina, Dimka; Mitan, Mitko, Mitre, Micho, Mitrana; Taki, Tako, Tushi.

Mishkinden or Mouse Day is held on October 27th. It is so called because mice came out of the gladiator Leo who was killed by St. Nestor. According to folklore, mice are demons who should be pacified a couple of times during the year.

Interesting taboos which stem from this day are:
Do not work, so that the mice won't eat the flour and wheat
Do not touch the flour
Do not use sharp metal objects or tools
Do not sew, so that the mice will not "cut" the harvest with their sharp teeth!