Village near Razlog celebrates Todorovden with horse races

Photo: BGNES

According to popular belief, from Todorovden (Saint Theodore’s Day) onwards, the day begins to grow and the weather gets warmer and warmer. It is believed that on this day everyone who has a horse should take part in the festive horse races.

The village of Bachevo close to the town of Razlog in the Pirin Mountain is famous with its horse bases and its residents will celebrate Todorovden with traditional horse races. On the holiday that is celebrated on the first Saturday of the Great Lent, both young and old dress in traditional costumes. The festive activities will begin with a morning liturgy at the local church of Saint Demetrius and then in the centre of the village a folk ritual will be held entitled the Bowing of the young brides – newly-wed brides facing the sunrise will bow three times to their mothers-in-law three times to show how low they can reap. Before noon the horse races will start.

The love of the Bachevo locals for horses is not accidental - the horse is present in the coat of arms of the village, and horse breeding is the main livelihood of the village inhabitants. The three horse bases attract many tourists, including from abroad, offering horseback riding, hiking, archery, and the increasingly popular hippotherapy (horse-assisted treatment).

Bachevo currently has 1,600 inhabitants, many of whom are young people.