20 July / 2 August ("Old Style"), Bulgaria and Macedonia: Ilinden

As a religious holiday, this day celebrates the prophet Elijah, who according to the Bible went to heaven on a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11).

For the festive meal (kurban) on this day, the oldest rooster in the coup should be slaughtered.

Folk mythology connects the celebrations with the Slavic god of thunder, Perun. In 1903, an uprising of the Slavic population in the European parts of the Ottoman empire started on Elijah’s day.

It is commemorated in The Republic of Macedonia’s Republic Day on 2 August, an official holiday, and by local ceremonies in Bulgaria.

Published Aug. 24, 2010 10:57 AM - Last modified Aug. 24, 2010 2:44 PM