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Saint Trifun – Holiday tradition St. Trifun is one of the most favourite holidays among the orthodox Christians. It is celebrated on 14th February, the same day as the worldwide known holiday St. Valentine. It is a day when the lopping of trees happen because it is believed that this saint is a protector of the grape trees, wine and saviour of many ill people. The believers on this day, believing in the miraculous power of St. Trifun with a blessing give a toast with wine or macedonian rakija (alcoholic drink-type of brandy which is homemade) including the feast and the traditional lopping of grape trees in order to devote importance to the saint. It is usual to be a home celebration in the presence of family and friends but the Macedonian tradition says it has to be celebrated near the grapes in the open. Besides the universal custom of lopping the grapes it is common for the people to drink wine and rakija so that year will be rich and prosperous and the fruits well protected in times of rough weather (such as hailing). But every family, every city, village or region has its own unique cutoms that are shown and also practicised that day. The whole ceremony is happening in the open so even if it’s raining or fanning the holiday must be celebrated. Friends are invited to come and each one of them is obligated to bring a bottle of wine with self and something random they think the others would like (salad, some specialty or homemade meal). At nine o’clock in the morning there are two fires lit and the religious lopping of trees can begin, performed somewhere between eleven or twelve o’clock, simbolicably only one row. Everything is carried out in the presence of live traditional music: drums, pipes and other traditional instruments. The cooking is composed of preparing pies with leeks or meat and some dish made by a family recipe, maybe some other kinds of pies with cheese, greens or cabbage. The food may be prepared in the open in Macedonian clay pots & plates. The host byes the meat: containing pork meat, lamb’s meat or else. Either way the meat is hung on the tree where the cooking is done. From the beverages: 200 liters white and red wine & 15 liters rakija are must have although the alcoholic drinks may vary from place to place. Everybody is expected to stay until 7 o’clock in the evening. However another interesting fact is that everybody has to wear their oldest clothes, coats or boots... because there is fire and a lot of glowing embers in the air not mentioning the dirt and the possibility of being muddy that day. There had been times when the tempertures were lower than -14 Celsius degrees and times when everybody was wearing T-shirts with short sleeves. After all it is a holiday that can teach us of the importance of the tradition, customs and real values, to denote our existance, to emphasize our lives. Dimitar Dimitrovski, III8 SUGS Gimnazija “Orce Nikolov” - Skopje

Saint Trifun - School Macedonin  

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