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17068Bulgaria Marks St Dimitar Day, 'Beginning of Winter'

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  • John Brian
    Oct 26, 2012
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      Bulgaria Marks St Dimitar Day, 'Beginning of Winter'

      Culture <http://www.novinite.com/category.php?category_id=26> | October 26,
      2012, Friday|

      The church holiday is in honor of the Holy Martyr St Dimitar. [File photo by

      The Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks St Dimitar Day, believed to herald the
      beginning of winter, on Friday, October 26.

      According to Christian mythology, St Dimitar, "master of frost and snow",
      rides a red horse and the year's first snowflakes fall from his white beard.

      As a forerunner of winter, in popular beliefs St Dimitar is associated with
      the netherworld - the world of the dead and of the forefathers. The
      so-called Dimitrovska Zadushnitsa (All Souls' Day) is on the Saturday
      preceding the St Dimitar Day.

      The church holiday is in honor of the Holy Martyr St Dimitar. Legend has it
      that he was born in the town of Thessaloniki. After the death of his father,
      he became a chief of town, accepted the Christian religion and started
      teaching the residents of Thessaloniki that they should not believe and pray
      to idols but that they should open their hearts to Jesus Christ.

      That was why emperor Maximillian ordered that Dimitar was thrown in a
      dungeon. Even locked in prison, St. Dimitar continued spreading his faith
      among the people and because of that he was murdered - speared in the ribs.
      After some time, during the digging of a ditch, St. Dimitar's holy remains,
      which radiated healing and fragrant "miro", were discovered.

      In the church songs, St. Dimitar is glorified as a martyr, keeper of kings,
      man who disapproved wars and a harbor for those seeking help. These last
      images of Saint Dimitar find their own place in the folklore rituals.

      On that day people who bear the name Dimitar, Dimitrina, Mitko or Dimo
      traditionally host great parties and, joined by their friends, celebrate
      their Name's Day.

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