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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Bulgaria Series at BulgarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Bulgarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 21 - Enyovden.
Enyovden is a typical Bulgarian holiday which is honored on June 24.
In this lesson you’ll learn all about this specific holiday of the Bulgarian folklore calendar.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Are you familiar with the so-called Enyova Bulya custom carried out on Enyovden?
If you don't already know about it, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Enyovden is known by many names, Yanevden, Yanovden, Ivanden, Ivunden, Ivan Bilyober meaning “herb picker,” and Dragiyka. The feast is associated with many customs or obichai, being a folk feast, while as a feast of the Eastern Orthodox tradition it is honored as the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist. In fact, the name Enyovden comes from the name Yoan or John, because the short forms of addressing Yoan or Ivan are Enyo and Yane.
This means that once again “many people,” or mnogo hora, have a name-day on this day. For instance, these are the people with the names Yana, Yanko, Encho, Ivana, Yoana, Dilyana, Deyan and the people named after herbs, for example Bilyana. On Enyovden herbs are collected, and they must number ”seventy-seven and a half.” In Bulgarian “a half” is i polovina—for all illnesses and the "illness without name" or bolestta bez ime.
June 24 is also the summer solstice. Many of the “rituals,” or in Bulgarian obredite, carried out on this day are related to the cult of the sun. Enyovden is a feast of herbs and the belief is that healing herbs are the most potent on this day. They are usually “collected,” or berat, before sunrise.
The people’s beliefs in the “power,” or silata, of the sun “make,” or karat, them watch the sunrise on Enyovden. This is also the start of the “transition,” or prehoda, to the winter period, when the days start to become shorter.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Are you familiar with the so-called Enyova Bulya custom carried out on Enyovden?
This is a custom for health and fertility, where the young unmarried women gather and dress a little girl as a bride, in a white shirt, red garment, red veil and lady’s bed-straw chaplet. Then they walk around in a ritual circle, singing the songs of Enyovden.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you celebrate the summer solstice in some special way?
Leave a comment letting us know at BulgarianPod101.com,
and we'll see you in the next lesson!