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Trifon Zarezan in Shipka

It’s mid-February. In Sofia the snow has melted and people are already in a spring mood. Trifon Zarezan – the last holiday in winter must be celebrated as is the tradition. I am from Sofia and we don’t keep most of the traditions, except for the most famous ones. There is big difference between the life in the big cities and the province. We head to the Balkan town of Shipka, where we have are invited to take photos of the wine festival.I have a chance that I checked the last minute camera because I forgot the memory card on my computer. This is a rush hour, there is a traffic jam, it’s annoying and the gasoline consumption of the car is over 20l/100km. We finally get out of the big city and get on the highway. After two and a half hours we arrive in Shipka. Shipka is quiet and covered with snow. We’re getting out of the car and it’s so cold that I’m worried I did not get enough thick clothes. I quickly decided I could wear two pair of jeans. The Mayor of Shipka

and her colleague meet us as if we were waiting for a year. Delicious dinner, red wine and smiles – warm welcome. They try to convince me to wear a national costume on the next day, but my costume is for the summer and I do not think it’s a good idea. Later I understood that the locals are extremely resistant to cold and even the strongest blizzard does not stop them to be outside.
The next morning we wake up early. We sleep really well in the fresh air. From the window of the hotel, the dome of the church of the Shipka Monastery shines. The holiday begins at twelve o’clock.

For years on this day, the city is divided into two – the eastern neighborhood and the western neighborhood…

to be continued…