top of page

St. Tryphon - guardian of the vineyards. A holiday for vine growers, gardeners andpub owners.

The Trifontsi Holidays in the Folk Faith by Dimitar Marinov, 1894

/ from "Folk Faith and Religious Customs", book "Living Antiquity", 1914, collected

by Dimitar Marinov /

The holiday of vine growers, gardeners and pub owners is associated with one of the most sustainable customs in our lands, namely the spring pruning of vineyards. St. Tryphon is considered a guardian of the vineyards and was once painted in churches and on icons with a kosher (small knife) in hand.

In the Orthodox calendar the holiday is celebrated on February 1 and in the folk belief it is known by the name Trifontsi, which are three days: first, second and third Trifonets. The first Trifonets is St. Tryphon. On this day, customs related to the vineyard, known as "Cutting and trimming the vineyards" and "Choosing Tryphon or King of the vineyards" are performed. On this day, the mistress of the house prepares bread and cooks a chicken stuffed with rice or bulgur. Fill a glass with wine and put it together with the bread and the chicken in a new or clean woolen patterned bag. Early in the morning, the men who have a vineyard leave and go to the vineyards. Everyone goes to their vineyard and crosses themselves. Then everyone takes the kosher and cuts three sticks from three corners. He crosses himself and waters the cut corners with the cup. Then everyone gathers in a designated place and everyone takes out the bread, chicken and wine and arranges them in a circle in the middle.

Before sitting down to celebrate, they choose Tryphon or the King of the Vineyards. When they eat and drink, they go to the village and stop at every house. The host of the house drinks wine first from the king, then the rest, and the rest of the wine is splashed in the king's face with words of prosperity. This is done in each house until they reach the king's house. In different parts of Bulgaria the custom is associated with a sacrificial sacrifice for the vineyards of a ram or an ox offered by Tryphon. "Tryphon the drunkard" is called because Tryphon or the king had to get drunk in order to have prosperity in the vineyards.

"Trifon chipia" or "Trifon zarezan" comes from the following tale: St. The Mother of God returned from prayer and passed by Tryphon. She greeted him with "God Help," but Tryphon did not respond, and even laughed at her when he saw her with a child in her arms. The Mother of God felt sorry for her and when she passed by his house she told his wife to take towels and bandage her husband because he had cut off his nose. The frightened woman quickly went to Tryphon's vineyard, saw that he was unharmed, and told him what Maria had told her. And he, to show that he can't cut himself, because he doesn't cut in the wrong way, and he assumed that you cut off your nose and left a chip without a nose. From there comes his nickname "chip", "abandoned".

The customs in the country during these three days - February 1, 2, 3 are also associated with holidays in honor of the wolves that rage during these days. Scissors do not open to close the jaws of wolves during the year. There is no work these days, especially men's work, because if there is someone who has worked, the wolves run into him.

There are other customs. On the first Triophone, they put three coals behind the door, calling them: one for corn, the second for wheat, and the third for beehives. And as they stay during the three days, they look at which of the coals is left in the ashes and which is blackened. Ash charcoal means fertility, and blackened - scarcity.

Another custom in our lands on the first day to Trifonosvat spruce trees, ie. to threaten with an ax.

On the second day, cakes are kneaded and given as gifts. If you take money on this day, you will take it all year round, and if you give it, you will give it all year round. If the weather is good on this day, it will be 40 days.

If it rains in rags during the Trifontsi, the bees will swarm well in the summer. It is believed that when a person leaves home, whatever he encounters will be his luck throughout the year.

On the third day, the main ones hit to escape snakes and lizards. In other places, trees are not cut down, nothing is cut, swept or cooked on fire. Women who want to conceive during the year bake a mirena (corn) pie and then break it and spread it to the neighbors. They knead another similar pie and break it in front of the icon with a lighted candle. This pie is without patterns.


bottom of page