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Municipality of
Gotse Delchev

2 Tsaritsa Yoanna Str.


PBX +359 88 8006080


Fax +359 88 9848685


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+359 88 4836743
+359 751 95075


e-mail oba@gocenet.net

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Folklore

 

The preservation of the Gotse Delchev folklore and traditional  customs as a part of the national cultural heritage is on of the chief task of the local cultural institutions: the Nevrokop Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dance, the House of Culture, the Prosveta Cultural Club, the Historical Museum, the folk song and dance group of Nikolina Chackardakova and the groups for authentic folklore in the villages of Kornitsa, Banichan, Breznitsa, Borovo, etc. The fairs and the traditional cultural skills such as music, dances, tales, customs and crafts are still kept alive in the Gotse Delchev region. The Gotse Delchev Municipality still possesses a much preserved folk culture - in its syncretism - as an inseparable union of sound, movement, word, ritual, etc.

 

Traditional holidays and customs in the Gotse Delchev Municipality:

 

 

Christmas Eve and Christmas

Holidays of regional importance, which are celebrated on December 24 and 25. Nativity rituals are performed in the Orthodox Christian temples. A ritual table laid for Christmas is presented in the Historical Museum in the town of Gotse Delchev.

 

Easter

Easter is celebrated at the end of April in all Christian settlements in the region. Customs connected with Christ's resurrection are performed. There is also an Easter service in the Christian temples. A ritual table laid for Easter is presented in the Historical Museum in the town of Gotse Delchev.

 

St Lazarus' Day

St Lazarus' Day is celebrated in April (one week before Easter) in the village of Banichan, 6 km south of the town of Gotse Delchev. Folk customs with songs and dances believed to bring rain and a rich harvest are performed by young girls called lazarki.

 

Sirnitsa (The first Sunday before Lent)

Sirnitsa is celebrated at the end of February in all Christian settlements in the region. It is a custom connected with the Beginning of Lent. large fires are lit in the separate quarters of the town and in the villages, and a traditional family dinner with a cheese pasty and boiled eggs is prepared.

 

Babugeri (Mummers)

Babugeri is celebrated in February in the village of Musomishta, 2 km south of the town of Gotse Delchev. Mummers dance to chase away the evil and bring health, good luck and a good harvest to the local families.

 

St Trifon's Day

St Trifon's Day is celebrated in February in the town and the villages. The men go to the vineyards with a wooden vessel of wine and a boiled chicken and make a ritual first pruning of the vines for the year. A traditional local wedding is also presented in the village of Delchevo

 

Midwives' Day

Midwives' Day is celebrated on 8 January. Customs of gratitude for the aid in giving birth are performed by the women. 

 

St Jordan's Day

St Jordan's Day is celebrated in on 6 January in the town of Gotse Delchev. Church rituals are performed by the Metropolitan of Nevrokop. They include the throwing of a cross into the Nevrokopska River, which is then retained by some brave man, in the presence of many inhabitants of the region.

 

St Constantine's Day

St Constantine's Day is celebrated in May on St Constantine's Summit in the South Pirin Mountains, 5 km southwest of the town of Gotse Delchev. It is celebrated with a fair with a liturgy and a ritual meal of boiled mutton. It is actually the Christianized version of an old solar-cult ritual.

 

The Holy Virgin's Day

It is celebrated in the Life-Bringing Source Monastery, 2 km southwest of the town of Gotse Delchev. The monastery was built on the site of an old-Christian basilica. The Holy Virgin's Day is celebrated at the end of April or the beginning of May (the first  Friday after Easter with a large fair, a solemn liturgy at the monastery, a ritual meal of boiled mutton and common tables on the monastery's meadows.

 

The Nativity of the Holy Virgin

This holiday is celebrated in the 105-year-old Holy Virgin's monastery, 3 km west of the village of Banichan. Legends and tales say that the original monastery building was built in c. 4-5 AD. 40 monks lived in it. In 1902, the old blind woman Tsveta went to its site and dug out an icon of the Holy Virgin - she said that she had a vision in her sleep. The holiday is celebrated on 8 September, 6 May and 15 August. Thousands of Christians come to pray for health and solace among an extremely beautiful area, where there were also a medieval settlement and a church in the past.

 

St Elijah's Day

The holiday is also in commemoration of the killed in the Uprising on St Elijah's' Day, 1903 against the Ottoman rule in Macedonia. It is celebrated with a traditional fair, organized by the Municipality. It takes place every year on 2 August in the locality Popovi Livadi, 18 km away from the town of Gotse Delchev. Citizens from the entire Gotse Delchev region and parts of the neighbouring Sandanski Municipality gather. The fair starts with a folk song and dance programme by popular ensembles of the municipality including children's and women's groups for authentic folklore, and continues with sporting events. There are stands selling various products of the traditional crafts. It is also the patron saint's holiday of the church in the village of Dobrotino.

 

The patron saints' holidays are also celebrated in all other Christian temples of the municipality.

 

The Muslim holidays - Ramadan Bayram and Kurban Bayram - are celebrated with traditional performances of groups for authentic folklore in the villages of Kornitsa, Breznitsa, Lazhnitsa and Gospodintsi.

 

Midwives' Day

 

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