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Photo Story: Traditional Honey Day mass in Blagoevgrad, Southwestern Bulgaria

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Bulgarian Orthodox faithful light candles during a holy mass for the ‘sanctification of honey’ at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin church in the town of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 10 February 2021.

Honey and beehives are sanctified by performing rituals for health and prosperity. On St. Haralambos’ Day, who according to tradition is the lord of all illnesses, sick or blind people go to church and pray for healing. Housework is strictly forbidden on that day over fears of any illness, with women being only allowed to bake traditional bread for the occasion.

The honey is then consecrated at the local church and then all the bread is coated with that honey. The rest of it will be kept as a remedy at home.

EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

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