Bulgaria is filled with as such lovely rituals. We start the year with many name days, customs and traditions that are made for a healthy and fertile year. Let us introduce you a special day from January, namely the Yordanov (Jordan) Day (January 6 – the name day celebrates all who carry the names of Yordan (Jordan) / Yordanka) and the male horo (horo and also known as oro, is a type of cyrcle dance originating in the Balkans) in the ice waters.
The tradition of the male horo, in the ice waters of the Luda Yana River, which passes through the village of Banja, near the town Panagyurishte, dates back to time immemorial. By 1944 the dance was played on the Yordanov day and then on the Babin day (Babinden is a traditional Bulgarian feast, celebrated on 8 January , in honour of the women practicing midwifery. The traditional word for midwife in Bulgarian is baba, same as grandmother).
Since the establishment of the communist regime, due to the departure from the religious customs of the then ideology, the tradition is interrupted. 45 years later the horo is played again, but in one of the local swimming pools.
However, with the hard work of the members of the local branch of “Traditzia” – Pop Gruyo Bansky, 2012, the custom resurfaces near the so-called healing ayazmo (a water source located next to a sacred site for Christianity – a temple, a monastery), 300 meters from the center of the village. The main merit of this is the local explorer Angel Vranchov.
Nowadays, the most popular male horo is dancing in the town of Kalofer in the icy waters of the Tundja River. It is a great moment to be filmed.
If you want to learn more about the tradition and filmed about it contact Film Fixers Balkans.