Lazaruvane* in the village of Banichan
It’s a spring holiday. It is for girls only and takes place a week before Easter. It is believed that a girl who have not participated in the celebration cannot be married. The maidens gather in advance at the house of one of them, who they have chosen as a leader. There, they practice their songs, prepare baskets and costumes, so that on Saturday morning, they go around the village, from house to house to sing and bless. Every housewife expects the girls to come and bring the blessing of health and prosperity to the home. The girls have wreaths on their heads entwined with spring flowers and willow branches. They carry baskets decorated with flowers and willow branches. Ritual songs are played and sung:
- ” Open big gates, welcome us!”
-“A tulip swings on a green meadow, it wasn’t a tulip, it was a child…” and they bless the house:
-” God bless the year in this home will be good. May everyone in that home be in good health.“
The owner of the house has prepared a gift for each girl in advance. An egg should be placed in the basket. Sweets, money, nuts or apples could be given. The leader of the group then urged them to go because they have to visit all the homes. The housewife is pleased and says: – “May you be well and healthy; come again next year!”
They leave the home with a song and go to another house. After walking around the whole village, the girls go to the river and drop their wreaths in the water. The one whose wreath is first in the water will be the leader next year. After this day, preparations for the next holiday begin. The collected eggs are painted after five days – on Good Thursday. This is the beginning of the preparation for Easter.
*Lazaruvane is a traditional procession during the Eastern Orthodox feast of Lazareva Subota, the day before Palm Sunday.
- The ritual is performed by young girls (usually up to 16 years’ old who are unmarried), called lazarki.