He is the saint of Tryphon: festive related to the wine producer, winner, gardener and the bar man, of course. Man around the world give flowers or love letters, but in Bulgaria, Trifon Zarezan is a very old tradition in which love for wine is given importance.
According to tradition, the housewife gets up early in the morning and kneads and bakes typical bread decorated with grape leaves. Apart from this dish, you must prepare a chicken stuffed with rice. She puts everything together with a glass of wine in a new wool bag and with this she sends her husband to the vineyards. There he cuts three sticks of three different roots and meanwhile “says” sweet words to the vineyard so that the result is a good wine. The method used is the same in almost the entire country. He makes a garland of the sticks and decorates his hat, and waters the roots with the wine he has brought, holy water and sprinkled with ashes, preserved from Christmas Eve: this ritual is called “abandonment”.
Then everyone gathers and chooses the “king of the vineyards”, who is often the most generous and respected man in the village or the one whose vineyards enjoyed a favorable climate and fertility. Once chosen, they crown him with a crown made of geranium, boxwood and young shoots, a ritual that again reminds us of the ancient Thracian god Dionysus.
This festival is celebrated throughout Bulgaria and to make your experience more complete, we recommend you visit one of the many wineries scattered throughout the country. Which saint will you choose if you are in Bulgaria next February 14? It is a question that depends on the preferences of each one, but whatever it is, drink with love.