White weddings

White weddings – the so-called rite of Bulgarian Muslims, annually attracting travelers to the village of Ribnovo. And white they are called not only because they pass in winter, and not because near the Aegean Sea, which Bulgarians are called white. It’s about mysterious makeup, like a mask adorns the face of the bride.

  • Mysterious makeup decorates the face of the bride

Western Painting Rhodope Mountains. 40 kilometers – border with Greece. In the ancient times, Thracians lived here. In the northeastern part of this ridge between the Massives of Stara Planna and Mid-Mountain is the Valley of the Thracian kings with the funeral mounds, full of gold. It is known as the rose valley. Western slopes of the mountains also attract numerous treasures.

Rhodopezna zealously store traditions. Each house has a special room where real works of local needlewomen are neatly folded: carpets, sheep and goat wool, embroidered aprons and dresses. Little where else in Bulgaria will see women every day dressing up in self-made clothes with incredible floral patterns and ornaments. When you go on the local villages, they involuntarily remember that you are in the homeland of the Sweet Orpheus, and it seems that since therefore, there has not changed anything on this earth ..

It may not be by chance that the famous Bulgarian bass Nikolai Gayurov appeared right there in the neighboring Chepinsky Porechye. In general, everything in the Rhodopian mountains sing: men – low sonic voices, women – velvet, children – clean and ringing. Yes, and speech at the local singing, soft: the consonants are still softened in different positions, which has long been not in modern Bulgarian. But if traditional violets guides are familiar to the central rodings, here, in the West, you will hear the vintage zurna more often. Their loud puller sounds resemble the history of the inhabitants of this edge: Bulgarian Muslims, or loving.

  • Wedding Horror and Wedding Orchestra

Islamic Arc

According to historical evidence, the Islamization of local residents began in the XIV century, when Ottomans first came to Bulgaria. In the XVI-XVII centuries, this process continued. The same happened in neighboring Serbia, Bosnia, Albania. So formed an Islamic arc that exists so far.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria tried several times to return loving in the Lono of Christianity – to no avail. And since 1989, they were left alone at all – free Islamic schools opened in many villages. There have been changed and in the lifeguard of loving. With socialism, like other Bulgarians, they were engaged in tobacco. Now young men are leaving for earnings in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece. The remaining goes to the mountains where they collect herbs, mushrooms, berries. But in winter, everyone is returned to their native places – as in all Bulgaria, the season of weddings begins.

If you want to see them and what is called, dissolving in the environment, you need to be early february Saturday morning, following the highway on the fireman, get to Ribnovo, which at the very end of the asphalt road. On the way, you can swim in one of the numerous thermal sources or climb the mountains – in "Bulgarian Hollywood", Kovachevitsa, favorite place of local cinematographers.

White weddings
  • nicknames – the rite of marriage and showing the dowry

Bulgarian Magometane

Islamization of Bulgarian Christians walked throughout the period of Ottoman dominion (the end of the XIV century – 1878). Moreover, the consequences of the transition to Islam depended not as much from the circumstances accompanying this step (violent or voluntary adoption of a new faith), how much of the habitat of converts. Where the Turks prevailed (mainly in the cities and valleys of large rivers), the veratpers led to the assimilation of the Slavic population. In remote, mountainous regions (Rhodope and Pirin), Islamized Bulgarians in centuries retained their former way and ethnic appearance. In the conditions of theocratic society, the position of Bulgar-Mohametan was not simple. Transition to Islam surrendered them from Orthodox compatriots. In turn, the Turks did not consider loss of full-fledged Muslims. Certificates have been preserved that even in the XIX century they never appeal to them "Ding Islyam" (as each other), and called loving "Denials Erum" – "semoral". On the household loss, conservatism and commitment to the customs of the ancestors (in this case of Orthodox) have always distinguished. For example, the Rhodopian loss of centuries continued to comply with some Christian traditions. The hiking of the holy water was often climbing, which was sanctified by cattle and dwelling. In everyday life, women followed the customs of mothers and Prelbabok: when kneading the test, it was baptized, as the sick signs of patients and dying. In remote villages, women neglected mandatory for all Muslims restrictions (wearing on the head of the covers and chadras, a ban on the presence in places of cluster of men). About their Orthodox roots of loss always remembered. The tragic circumstances of the transition in Islam were often reflected in Bulgarian toponymics. For example, near the city of Pavlier, the Canalyder river flows ("bloody stream"), named so in memory of the residents who were killed in this place, refused to accept Islam. However, religious singsa gave itself to know. So, the Turks used loving with the cruel suppression of the Bulgarian national liberation movement (April Uprising 1876), especially in Rhodopas, in the villages of Batak and Pervurstitsa. Only with the coming to power in September 1944 of the Communists, fundamentally ignored the factor of the confessional affiliation of citizens, the situation began to change. Since then, Magomethane received a real opportunity to feel at full-fledged members of Bulgarian society.

  • During the ceremony of circumcision of boys of their mother pray outside

"Brilliant" the consignment

At first it may seem that Ribnovo is an ordinary village living a quiet, measured life. In local coffee shops are always full of men: they play backgammon and drink sweet coffee. Children run through the streets – they are blondes and blue-eyed (after all, these Muslims are Slavs).

But now loud music is closer to dinner, and the wedding begins, which will last all Saturday and Sunday. The first action of this celebration is to enter the street of musicians with large drums and zurens. Then, after lunch, on the square there are good – Bulgarian dance dance.

On the first day of the wedding, the relatives of the groom walks: the beetor and mother-in-law meet all those loved ones in Corcch, take gifts and treat. Close brides are not officially invited, but they still imbued with the celebration. Each guest must have a crawl, and it is precisely to catch it – a kosos look at lovers. Women dressed picturesque: yellow, green, blue, red, orange, pink, golden, sequins, Lurex. – "White" Weddings in Ribnovo are actually surprisingly colorful. On the heads of the girls – Kosinki, also colorful: Chadra did not fit here. Persons open, smiling, ruddy from cold. Everyone keeps small groups, looking, discussing. Along the groom’s house exhibited wooden hangers, on which all good, which was going for years: Blankets, carpets, bed linen, tablecloths, motley fabrics. In the yard of the bride folded all the furniture and utensils for the new home – from the bedroom to the coffee machine and even clothes for future children. The whole village looks, evaluates and comments.

The second day of the celebration was given to relatives of the bride. Music play again. Repeats the same ritual – money, gifts, treats. Everyone is playing and dancing well. And after lunch from the groom’s house there is a procession with wedding gifts, placed on high wooden racks – Bairaz. Once the most expensive gift was considered a huge ram, but today the necklace of cash equilignations is more popular – and carry it easier, and more valuable. At the house of the bride, the procession stops to pay the redemption of her father, and he, in turn, pays for each rack with gifts. Then the dowry will be shipped into the car and take into a new home. Newlywed Mother Now only occasionally can meet with her daughter – she belongs to another family.

And finally, climax comes: after a long expectation, the bride appears – Helina. Before that, she has long and secretly dressed up and decorated the best masters of the village. Finally, she comes out … Cretan beauties look like in ancient painting, and maybe the Thracians of the Delleenic Times were. Her face like a mask – it is covered with a dense white clay layer and painted with bright colors. Basically, these are roses – a symbol of Bulgaria and at the same time favorite flower of the East. In addition to roses on the face, a lot of sequins, and from above, silvery threads fall on it, because of which the bride’s features see even harder. The dress is also thick embroidered with flowers, and on the head a red veil (once she was spread in many areas of Bulgaria) – a symbol of loyalty to the only man. Gelina should be firmly closed and not to open the eyes until the Mullah blesses Chet.

It is said that this tradition goes back to those distant times when all young men were cattlemen and most of the time were spent far in the mountains. They did not communicate with women and did not know how it was to take care of them and show tenderness to them. Yes, and now the young to the wedding is almost unfamiliar – about the first kiss and there is no speech. And the fact that the bridegroom comes first and very carefully to remove the whole wedding makeup, everything that is painted, until finally, the present person will open, – introduces him with a young wife, teach him to be affectionate. I do not know if it is, but it sounds beautiful.

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