In the silent embrace of history, as if a nest under Pirin and Mount Orelyak, the village of Banichan is located. Locals keep and hide old customs and rituals. The air here is clean and the sun is dazzling. Banichan is full of tales of nymphs, enchanted herbs and magical teas. Midsummer is celebrated here. The celebration brings together people from near and far, of different ethnicities, with our ancient practices and rituals, emphasizing the origins and our roots. Our idea of these resurrected traditions from antiquity is universal and comprehensible to all. A phenomenal change in socio-economic terms is achieved and young people are involved in our initiatives. Herbs affect our spiritual world. The knowledge of the powers which our forefathers ascribed to them—Thalictrum minus, as they believed it evoked affection; Geranium – for health; Tanacetum vulgare – to return good and repel evil, etc. is a remembrance, but also an opportunity to experience the world in greater depth, to interact with it not only by using and applying it, but also by being part of our faith, hope and spirituality. Tradition requires knowledge, only then comes personal fantasy, not the other way around. The spiritual experience that instills in us respect, love and responsibility for the world around us is important because we change ourselves and the world around us for the good and the beautiful. It’s the most magical day of the year. How to take advantage of the four natural elements – Fire, Earth, Air and Water, which are abundantly found here. The surrounding earth hides its secrets for the plants here. The air carries the fragrance of the thousands of medicinal herbs that grow in the sunniest part of Bulgaria. There is no greater mysterious and purifying power of the water gushing from the bowels of this magical place on the most magical day of the year. On the day before the holiday, water from three springs is poured into a new pot or a bowl of maidens, which is left high to stay through the night. Round dance is being played. Anyone can participate, but must remain silent at all times. Men on these days must be very careful and carry herbs that protect them from nymphs (very beautiful maidens living in the forest and coming out on these days to kidnap an earthly man). To protect against misfortune on this day, wreaths of flowers are made, which are hung on the house until the next year. The wreath must have Galium, Yarrow and St. John’s wort wrapped in red thread. They are harvested before sunrise, when it is believed that the sun turns three times and the herbs are most medicinal. A large wreath of various herbs is also made and people passed through it for health. The water, that spent the night under the stars is used by a little girl dressed in folk costume, who blesses for luck and prosperity. The celebration continues with many songs, dances, contests for the most beautiful wreath, good wishes from the little girl and lots of fun. A day that gives meaning to the idea of community, of the transmission of traditions, of rapprochement between generations and getting to know each other through custom.
Midsummer Festival – Enyovden
National community center “Izgrev-1930” Bulgaria
Manisa Valiligi Turkey
DRUSTVO ZA RAZVIJANJE PROSTOVOLJNEGA DELA NOVO MESTO Slovenia
PANEPISTIMIO THESSALIAS Greece