St. Lazarus's Day

St. Lazarus's Day

Between March 27 and April 30; Saturday before Palm Sunday
In Bulgaria, St. Lazarus's Day ( Lazarouvane or Lazarovden ) is the great Slavic festival of youth and fertility and doesn't have much to do with Lazarus himself. The day takes its name from a series of ritual games and songs studied in advance by young girls during Lent. Although there are many versions of the ritual, they all have a common focus, which is the "coming out" of girls who are ready to be married. Particular attention is paid to dress, which usually involves colorful traditional costumes and heavy jewelry. In former times, the people of Bulgaria believed that the more elaborate the rituals devoted to marriage, the better the chances for happiness, long life, and a house full of children.
See also Lazarus Saturday
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 170
OxYear-1999, p. 502