Lazarovden is a Christian holiday named after St. Lazarus. The name Lazarus is a symbol of health and longevity. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus and when he died was buried three days after his death, God says – “Lazarus arise!” And he Lazarus did. St. Lazarus’ Day is celebrated on the eighth day before Easter. Because Easter is determined by the lunar calendar rather than the solar, Lazar falls each year on a different date, but always on a Saturday.
In Bulgaria there is a custom on this day to collect green willow branches that will adorn the doors on the next day. Young women gather flowers to harvest feast of Palm Sunday. Girls called Lazarki get together at the home of one of them. Then, dressed in traditional folk costumes, they walk around the village, singing songs and Lazarus ritual blessings for health, happiness and prosperity. People will give them eggs, money, fruit and small gifts. In the past, was a custom for young men propose on this day.
This Holiday brings Spring spirit and everyone is looking forward to this day. It was believed that a girl that has not performed this ritual can not marry. The young women throw willow wreaths in rivers, showing this way they want to marry. Therefore it was mandatory every girl from the village to participate in this custom called Lazaruvane.