"A house without a barrel is not a house" - exhibition of Historical Museum - Strelcha and Regional Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv

From today, February 14, in the Historical Museum – Strelcha you can see the exhibition “A house without a barrel is not a house”, which is a result of the collaboration between the specialists from Strelcha and the Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv.

In folk beliefs, St. Trifon is a patron of vineyards and vine growers. In one of the many legends about him, the saint is described as a vinedresser who cut his nose with a pruning knife while pruning the vineyard. That is why The day of St. Trifon (Trifonovden) is also called Pruning Day (Zarezanovden) or Trifon Zarezan and rituals for the fertility of the vineyards are performed.

St. Trifon is also the patron saint of barrel makers. They produced the much-needed vessels for the making and storage of precious liquids. In every house, there were such vessels – from the big barrels to the small flask. Picking the grapes, taking them to the house and making the wine and rakia is a sacrament that has been celebrated as a great holiday. These actions represent the family and the house. That is why the Bulgarians have said: “A house without a barrel is not a house!”

Wine is the drink that marks the entire life path of man, from beginning to end. When a woman gives birth, she is given wine to give birth lightly. With wine is attached the union between two (spouses, brothers and sisters) to connect them with “blood” and with wine the deceased is sent after death. Rakia, unlike wine, is a cultural product – human intervention is needed to obtain the precious liquid baked in the fire. It symbolizes the vital energy that originates from the merging of the two opposing elements – fire and water. Fire is a mediator between nature and culture. Brewing rakia is an activity that requires precision and attention to detail. During brewing, rakia shops are an attractive centre for all men who try the new harvest.

In addition to holidays and weekdays, for strength and good mood, alcoholic beverages are also used for treatment. As our people have said, “That which is not treated with rakia is incurable. ” Wine and brandy turn out to be universal products in the everyday life and holiday of the Bulgarians. That’s why they’re so loved and cherished. They bring joy and health; they are the connecting part of society from the distant past to the present day. The preparation of these elixirs is the pride of every householder.