St George Day , Veliko Tarnovo - Bulgaria May.2016
First run of my Roman project in Bulgaria. A different version of
Ederlezi, which is celebrated on May 6 and is important to the Roman
people. I was a guest of the Christian Roman group Kaldaraj in Veliko
Tarnovo. St George's day or Erdelezi, is the biggest holiday of
Christian Roma people in Bulgaria. It is celebrated 3 days in Bulgaria (
6, 7 and 8 of May). It is also celebrated by the Muslim Roman people
living in Bulgaria on the same dates. They call this holiday Ederlezi,
not St George's day, and they sacrifice sheep again. In the 1960s, I
remember Ederlezi celebrations where lambs were slaughtered in my
childhood at Western Turkey.
The celebration of the holiday in Christian Roma part in Bulgaria is connected to the believe that St.George has saved the Roma people from a dragon, that had started to eat them. Apart from this the Erdelezi holiday marks the coming of the spring. Traditionally Roma and Bulgarian eat lamb on the holiday and the lamb is prepared by them selves at home. The oldest man in the family sacrifice the lamb, sacrificing it in the name of St. George. Before the lamb is sacrificed, its head is decorated with spring flowers, and its flowing blood is collected in a bowl and poured into a stream. It is baked in the oven. After the oven, a coin is put in the mouth of lamb to earn a lot of money and a prayer is made after a candle is lit; and eaten collectively by the family.