FOLKLORE PROJECTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FEAST
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Abstract: In the ecclesiastical Christian calendar, Holy Trinity or Holy Ghost is a moveable feast and is celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost, in May or June. In the folk calendar, this holiday marks the beginning of the so-called Whitsuntide or Midsummer Week (in Bulgarian Rusalska nedelya). It is believed to be the period of wood nymphs’ special activity – during the week those supernatural creatures, who personify vegetation and greenery in the fields and the woods, provide the fertility of crops and vineyards. The analysis focuses on those notions and the respective practices, outlining that to a great degree Whitsuntide corresponds to the Dirty or Pagan days in the winter – the period between Christmas and Epiphany. As this is one of the most important periods in the agricultural calendar, it is bound with people’s efforts to ensure fertility and water balance in their inhabited territory by offering sacrifices and propitiating the supernatural powers who are owners and hosts of vegetation and water resources.
Keywords: Whitsuntide, Wood Nymphs, Kurban, Water Source, Water Host